Prinosaurius Rex

El Bronco se destapa para la presidencia en 2018; dejaría gubernatura en manos de ex candidato de MC

Por:  / 16 junio, 2015

Monterrey, Miércoles, Junio 17, 2015 – 13:51: Rodrigo Medina, actual gobernador de NL y Jaime Rodríguez gobernador electo al salir de la reunión en Palacio de Gobierno. Foto: POSTA-Ale Morales 

NUEVO LEÓN.- Para evaluar el estado en que se encuentra la administración actual, el gobernador electo de Nuevo León, Jaime Rodríguez se reunió este mediodía con el gobernador actual Rodrigo Medina de la Cruz, para preparar la etapa de transición y nombrar a quienes coordinarán al equipo encargado de este proceso.


Es de puta pena el bajo nivel cultural de Nuevo León, nos tienen apendejados con chabacanerías, gruperas, fútbol, carne asada. Es natural que un apantalla pendejos nos apantalle con chabacano desparpajo.

En sus orígenes, el equipo Tigres de fútbol era un equipo de estudiantes universitarios. Era en un sentido real el equipo de la UANL. Ahora es una marca comercial de una empresa que paga regalías por una imagen. Pareciera inocente que busquemos sentido y pertenencia en una enajenación de fin de semana. Pero el precio que pagamos es un condicionamiento social que nos hace manipulables. NO hay lonche gratis, raza: La raza paga, pero no manda.

Un cambio en lo general requiere un cambio en lo particular; no puede ser agente de cambio un representante del sistema. Todos podemos cambiar pero el orden de los factores si altera el producto; primero hay que demostrar el cambio en lo particular y luego buscar ser agente de cambio en lo general. Entiendo la frustración y necesidad de creer pero no por mucho creer se transmuta el plomo en paz, y la corrupción, en orden. Los traidores y canallas usan el lenguaje heroico de la libertad y la justicia para hacer mezquindades inicuas. Los hombres libres no le rezan a monigotes de barro ni siguen a merolicos. La libertad, mí estimado, es solitaria, muy celosa y exigente.

Si desconfío más del prinosaurio que de la otra candidata del PRI. El aval del panista a cambio de la promesa de un gobierno a la sombra contradice el discurso de transparencia e institucionalidad. Votar por el prinosaurio es votar por el sector prisita mas retrogrado y caciquil de Nuevo León. No es una alternativa al bipartidismo; al contrario, es cimentar un caciquismo regional en el que estaremos inmersos por décadas.

El DESPERTAR CIUDADANO se dará cuando trascendamos la chabacanería y la pseudocultura del fútbol y la música grupera que nos venden como regia, cuando cultura regia es Alfonso Reyes, trabajo, honradez, y estudio. Es posible y deseable un activismo político ciudadano que por lo menos en estas elecciones apenas esta incipiente. No se puede cambiar haciendo lo mismo, votando por los mismos.

Nomas una pregunta y me convencen, ¿Qué ha hecho el prinosaurio en contra de la corrupción del pri en sus 35 años de prista? ¿En sus 8 meses de independiente? ¿Nada? Bueno fuera nada, ha sido participe y protagonista de los teje manejes pristas. Como el mismo dice: ha cometido errores en su vida. Le preguntan en una entrevista que si es millonario, que cuanto ha invertido en la campaña; responde que él y sus compadres han puesto 70 mil pesos, y aclara que mensualmente. Setenta mil mensuales no alcanza para los panorámicos en avenida Leones.

Entiendo y comparto la necesidad de creer. Es muy triste que nos roben hasta las palabras y ahora votar por los corruptos de siempre es votar por el cambio y el despertar ciudadano. Votar por estos caciques no es arriesgarse con un inexperto idealista. Es entregarse a una caterva de parias consumados.

La guerra de las intercepciones telefónicas es un síntoma más de la descomposición institucional y la anarquía jurídica que impera en México. Las intercepciones son ellas mismas un grave delito federal que se persigue de oficio. Por otro lado, el contenido de las llamadas implica graves delitos de carácter no solo penal sino de crimen organizado, que también se persiguen de oficio. Sin embargo, los afectados no interponen demandas penales, y la autoridad solo reacciona ante las acusaciones más ambiguas y banales, ignorando las más graves.

Nos dicen que tenemos oportunidad de hacer Historia, con mayúscula, o sufrirla. Pero los dados no solo están cargados, no nos dejan tocarlos. Los argumentos en contra del prian son irrefutables; los argumentos a favor del prinosaurio son validos en una dimensión paralela, pero no en esta donde lo mismo no es lo diferente (http://www.taringa.net/posts/info/1922915/Coca-Cola-Verde.html).

La abstención tampoco es una opción. Es un voto a favor del sistema partidista; las reglas son tales que entre mayor abstención, mayor son las prestaciones que reciben los partidos.

De verdad que necesitamos El DESPERTAR CIUDADANO.

La campaña prinosaurica va ser referente de libro de texto. Fue la única con una visión positiva del futuro: el despertar ciudadano. El tema del fin del bipartidismo a primera vista pareciera contradictorio. Las elecciones municipales y distritales fueron ganados por el prian. Pero una segunda observación nos muestra que el voto partidista es de 50-60%. Es decir consistente con el resultado de la elección de gobernador.


Jorge Fernández Menéndez 25/05/2015 01:21

No sé si Jaime Rodríguez Calderón, apodado El Bronco, vaya a ganar las elecciones que dentro de dos semanas se realizarán en Nuevo León. Mucho menos si sus expectativas reales de voto son de 35 por ciento como dice su principal patrocinador, el periódico El Norte, o de 15 por ciento, como dice la encuestadora GEA-ISA. Sé que una diferencia de 20 puntos en dos encuestas levantadas simultáneamente lo único que puede indicar es que por lo menos una de las dos ha sido manipulada conscientemente.

Sí sé que Rodríguez no es un candidato independiente: es un candidato hoy sin partido, que militó 33 años en el PRI, por el que fue diputado local y federal, además de presidente municipal, al que renunció apenas en septiembre pasado, porque se vio sin posibilidades de lograr la candidatura a gobernador. Y se lanzó entonces como candidato, apoyado por un poderoso grupo local en Nuevo León, en el que participa en forma muy destacada un grupo editorial, con sus empresarios y políticos cercanos que creen que de esa manera se podrán deshacer de la alternancia PRI-PAN que tanto les desagrada.

La reciente incorporación del muy respetable Fernando Elizondo a su campaña es una vívida demostración de ello, incluso por el anterior parentesco familiar de Elizondo con la familia Junco.

Hasta ahora la única oferta de Jaime Rodríguez es que tiene, como él dice, “güevos” y que es, como se hace llamar, bronco. Pero, más allá del comprensible enojo social, para gobernar un estado tan complejo como Nuevo León se necesita más cerebro que güevos, más programas que entusiasmo, y más equipos y compromisos que aventuras y ánimo de confrontación.

Agencias – viernes, 17 de abril del 2015

Monterrey, Nuevo León.- El hermano de Jaime Rodríguez Calderón “El Bronco” fue detenido en el 2010 por elementos del Ejército con un rifle AK-47, una pistola Beretta .9 mm y 100 mil pesos en efectivo. Según consta en el acta emitida por la PGR, Adex Caleb Rodríguez Calderón fue remitido y consignado por el delito de violación a la Ley Federal de Armas de Fuego y Explosivos. El hermano de “El Bronco” no pudo justificar la legal portación de las armas ni la procedencia de los 100 mil pesos por lo que las autoridades iniciaron la averiguación AP/PGR/COAH/SALT-IV/21/D/2010 en su contra.

En aquél entonces el candidato independiente a la gubernatura de Nuevo León ocupaba el puesto de Alcalde de García. Después de estar detenido por tres días un juez determinó la absolución de Alex Caleb por no poderse comprobar la posesión de las armas o el dinero.

En la actualidad, el hermano de “El Bronco” opera electoralmente en su campaña, situación que pone en entredicho las propuestas del candidato independiente sobre el respeto a la justicia y a la legalidad.


Alejandro Sánchez

Ringside

Alejandro Sánchez
18.05.2015

A mediados de 2013, Memo Rentería, estratega político, ni siquiera sabía quién era Jaime Rodríguez Calderón, quien acababa de dejar la presidencia de García, Nuevo León.

Fue por esas fechas, durante la IV Cumbre de Comunicación Política en Argentina, cuando supo que mediante Facebook y Twitter que Rodríguez Calderón pudo debilitar a uno de los cárteles más temibles de México.

También en esos días, en Buenos Aires, ambos conocieron a una mujer que pronto se unió a ellos para hacer de Rodríguez Calderón la espectacular figura de El Bronco, quien ahora tiene posibilidades de ganar la gubernatura de Nuevo León. Su nombre es Yessica de la Madrid, cuya participación en la creación del personaje norteño había pasado desapercibida.

De la Madrid trabajó en Radar en 2005, empresa vinculada a Grupo TV Promo, especializada en marketing, que tuvo como socios a Alejandro Quintero, vicepresidente de comercialización de Televisa y la cual fue contratada por Peña Nieto para crear la estrategia de su campaña por la gubernatura del Estado de México.

Poco tiempo después de que Rentería acercó a El Bronco con Roberto Sandoval, gobernador de Nayarit, quien incluso hizo aportaciones para filmar la película sobre la vida de El Bronco, De la Madrid dejó el equipo.


Protágoras 10/May/15 01:09

Vaya que el que sigue bajo el ojo del huracán es el candidato independiente Jaime Rodríguez, el Bronco
El más nuevo es el de su aparente contradicción sobre lo que él asegura fue el plagio de su hija en 2009. Porque se supone que en una entrevista dijo que a su hija la habían secuestrado ‘‘unos zetas’’, y que incluso tuvo que hablarle ‘‘al jefe’’ de ellos para rescatarla. Nomás que, según un video que se elaboró para `balconearlo´, en otra entrevista el candidato independiente asegura que él pensó que le habían secuestrado a la niña, pero luego se enteró que más bien una comadre se la había llevado.


Entre El Bronco y el México bronco

En Nuevo León se abre una nueva oportunidad para cambiar el deplorable destino de la democracia mexicana. Jaime, El Bronco, Rodríguez, un candidato independiente llamado a gobernar una de las entidades más ricas y poderosas de la nación, cuyo apodo tal vez se adecua más al de un boxeador de barriada, se dice que es un político “resentido, camaleónico”, traidor al PRI que se negó a postular su candidatura, un individuo “violento, terco, ególatra, mitómano, un probable dictadorcito”, además de un individuo sin una clara definición política incapaz de demostrar el origen de su patrimonio, entre otros cargos no menos temerarios.

Si el electorado neoleonés, víctima de la desesperación por el desastroso papel de Medina, se equivoca al votar por El Bronco, porque éste resulta ser una réplica mal hecha del PRI, bien podríamos violentarnos ante la falta de resultados.

El Bronco se destapa para la presidencia en 2018; dejaría gubernatura en manos de ex candidato de MC

Por:  / 16 junio, 2015

Monterrey, Miércoles, Junio 17, 2015 – 13:51: Rodrigo Medina, actual gobernador de NL y Jaime Rodríguez gobernador electo al salir de la reunión en Palacio de Gobierno. Foto: POSTA-Ale Morales 

NUEVO LEÓN.- Para evaluar el estado en que se encuentra la administración actual, el gobernador electo de Nuevo León, Jaime Rodríguez se reunió este mediodía con el gobernador actual Rodrigo Medina de la Cruz, para preparar la etapa de transición y nombrar a quienes coordinarán al equipo encargado de este proceso.


Es de puta pena el bajo nivel cultural de Nuevo León, nos tienen apendejados con chabacanerías, gruperas, fútbol, carne asada. Es natural que un apantalla pendejos nos apantalle con chabacano desparpajo.

En sus orígenes, el equipo Tigres de fútbol era un equipo de estudiantes universitarios. Era en un sentido real el equipo de la UANL. Ahora es una marca comercial de una empresa que paga regalías por una imagen. Pareciera inocente que busquemos sentido y pertenencia en una enajenación de fin de semana. Pero el precio que pagamos es un condicionamiento social que nos hace manipulables. NO hay lonche gratis, raza: La raza paga, pero no manda.

Un cambio en lo general requiere un cambio en lo particular; no puede ser agente de cambio un representante del sistema. Todos podemos cambiar pero el orden de los factores si altera el producto; primero hay que demostrar el cambio en lo particular y luego buscar ser agente de cambio en lo general. Entiendo la frustración y necesidad de creer pero no por mucho creer se transmuta el plomo en paz, y la corrupción, en orden. Los traidores y canallas usan el lenguaje heroico de la libertad y la justicia para hacer mezquindades inicuas. Los hombres libres no le rezan a monigotes de barro ni siguen a merolicos. La libertad, mí estimado, es solitaria, muy celosa y exigente.

Si desconfío más del prinosaurio que de la otra candidata del PRI. El aval del panista a cambio de la promesa de un gobierno a la sombra contradice el discurso de transparencia e institucionalidad. Votar por el prinosaurio es votar por el sector prisita mas retrogrado y caciquil de Nuevo León. No es una alternativa al bipartidismo; al contrario, es cimentar un caciquismo regional en el que estaremos inmersos por décadas.

El DESPERTAR CIUDADANO se dará cuando trascendamos la chabacanería y la pseudocultura del fútbol y la música grupera que nos venden como regia, cuando cultura regia es Alfonso Reyes, trabajo, honradez, y estudio. Es posible y deseable un activismo político ciudadano que por lo menos en estas elecciones apenas esta incipiente. No se puede cambiar haciendo lo mismo, votando por los mismos.

Nomas una pregunta y me convencen, ¿Qué ha hecho el prinosaurio en contra de la corrupción del pri en sus 35 años de prista? ¿En sus 8 meses de independiente? ¿Nada? Bueno fuera nada, ha sido participe y protagonista de los teje manejes pristas. Como el mismo dice: ha cometido errores en su vida. Le preguntan en una entrevista que si es millonario, que cuanto ha invertido en la campaña; responde que él y sus compadres han puesto 70 mil pesos, y aclara que mensualmente. Setenta mil mensuales no alcanza para los panorámicos en avenida Leones.

Entiendo y comparto la necesidad de creer. Es muy triste que nos roben hasta las palabras y ahora votar por los corruptos de siempre es votar por el cambio y el despertar ciudadano. Votar por estos caciques no es arriesgarse con un inexperto idealista. Es entregarse a una caterva de parias consumados.

La guerra de las intercepciones telefónicas es un síntoma más de la descomposición institucional y la anarquía jurídica que impera en México. Las intercepciones son ellas mismas un grave delito federal que se persigue de oficio. Por otro lado, el contenido de las llamadas implica graves delitos de carácter no solo penal sino de crimen organizado, que también se persiguen de oficio. Sin embargo, los afectados no interponen demandas penales, y la autoridad solo reacciona ante las acusaciones más ambiguas y banales, ignorando las más graves.

Nos dicen que tenemos oportunidad de hacer Historia, con mayúscula, o sufrirla. Pero los dados no solo están cargados, no nos dejan tocarlos. Los argumentos en contra del prian son irrefutables; los argumentos a favor del prinosaurio son validos en una dimensión paralela, pero no en esta donde lo mismo no es lo diferente (http://www.taringa.net/posts/info/1922915/Coca-Cola-Verde.html).

La abstención tampoco es una opción. Es un voto a favor del sistema partidista; las reglas son tales que entre mayor abstención, mayor son las prestaciones que reciben los partidos.

De verdad que necesitamos El DESPERTAR CIUDADANO.

La campaña prinosaurica va ser referente de libro de texto. Fue la única con una visión positiva del futuro: el despertar ciudadano. El tema del fin del bipartidismo a primera vista pareciera contradictorio. Las elecciones municipales y distritales fueron ganados por el prian. Pero una segunda observación nos muestra que el voto partidista es de 50-60%. Es decir consistente con el resultado de la elección de gobernador.


Jorge Fernández Menéndez 25/05/2015 01:21

No sé si Jaime Rodríguez Calderón, apodado El Bronco, vaya a ganar las elecciones que dentro de dos semanas se realizarán en Nuevo León. Mucho menos si sus expectativas reales de voto son de 35 por ciento como dice su principal patrocinador, el periódico El Norte, o de 15 por ciento, como dice la encuestadora GEA-ISA. Sé que una diferencia de 20 puntos en dos encuestas levantadas simultáneamente lo único que puede indicar es que por lo menos una de las dos ha sido manipulada conscientemente.

Sí sé que Rodríguez no es un candidato independiente: es un candidato hoy sin partido, que militó 33 años en el PRI, por el que fue diputado local y federal, además de presidente municipal, al que renunció apenas en septiembre pasado, porque se vio sin posibilidades de lograr la candidatura a gobernador. Y se lanzó entonces como candidato, apoyado por un poderoso grupo local en Nuevo León, en el que participa en forma muy destacada un grupo editorial, con sus empresarios y políticos cercanos que creen que de esa manera se podrán deshacer de la alternancia PRI-PAN que tanto les desagrada.

La reciente incorporación del muy respetable Fernando Elizondo a su campaña es una vívida demostración de ello, incluso por el anterior parentesco familiar de Elizondo con la familia Junco.

Hasta ahora la única oferta de Jaime Rodríguez es que tiene, como él dice, “güevos” y que es, como se hace llamar, bronco. Pero, más allá del comprensible enojo social, para gobernar un estado tan complejo como Nuevo León se necesita más cerebro que güevos, más programas que entusiasmo, y más equipos y compromisos que aventuras y ánimo de confrontación.

Agencias – viernes, 17 de abril del 2015

Monterrey, Nuevo León.- El hermano de Jaime Rodríguez Calderón “El Bronco” fue detenido en el 2010 por elementos del Ejército con un rifle AK-47, una pistola Beretta .9 mm y 100 mil pesos en efectivo. Según consta en el acta emitida por la PGR, Adex Caleb Rodríguez Calderón fue remitido y consignado por el delito de violación a la Ley Federal de Armas de Fuego y Explosivos. El hermano de “El Bronco” no pudo justificar la legal portación de las armas ni la procedencia de los 100 mil pesos por lo que las autoridades iniciaron la averiguación AP/PGR/COAH/SALT-IV/21/D/2010 en su contra.

En aquél entonces el candidato independiente a la gubernatura de Nuevo León ocupaba el puesto de Alcalde de García. Después de estar detenido por tres días un juez determinó la absolución de Alex Caleb por no poderse comprobar la posesión de las armas o el dinero.

En la actualidad, el hermano de “El Bronco” opera electoralmente en su campaña, situación que pone en entredicho las propuestas del candidato independiente sobre el respeto a la justicia y a la legalidad.


Alejandro Sánchez

Ringside

Alejandro Sánchez
18.05.2015

A mediados de 2013, Memo Rentería, estratega político, ni siquiera sabía quién era Jaime Rodríguez Calderón, quien acababa de dejar la presidencia de García, Nuevo León.

Fue por esas fechas, durante la IV Cumbre de Comunicación Política en Argentina, cuando supo que mediante Facebook y Twitter que Rodríguez Calderón pudo debilitar a uno de los cárteles más temibles de México.

También en esos días, en Buenos Aires, ambos conocieron a una mujer que pronto se unió a ellos para hacer de Rodríguez Calderón la espectacular figura de El Bronco, quien ahora tiene posibilidades de ganar la gubernatura de Nuevo León. Su nombre es Yessica de la Madrid, cuya participación en la creación del personaje norteño había pasado desapercibida.

De la Madrid trabajó en Radar en 2005, empresa vinculada a Grupo TV Promo, especializada en marketing, que tuvo como socios a Alejandro Quintero, vicepresidente de comercialización de Televisa y la cual fue contratada por Peña Nieto para crear la estrategia de su campaña por la gubernatura del Estado de México.

Poco tiempo después de que Rentería acercó a El Bronco con Roberto Sandoval, gobernador de Nayarit, quien incluso hizo aportaciones para filmar la película sobre la vida de El Bronco, De la Madrid dejó el equipo.


Protágoras 10/May/15 01:09

Vaya que el que sigue bajo el ojo del huracán es el candidato independiente Jaime Rodríguez, el Bronco
El más nuevo es el de su aparente contradicción sobre lo que él asegura fue el plagio de su hija en 2009. Porque se supone que en una entrevista dijo que a su hija la habían secuestrado ‘‘unos zetas’’, y que incluso tuvo que hablarle ‘‘al jefe’’ de ellos para rescatarla. Nomás que, según un video que se elaboró para `balconearlo´, en otra entrevista el candidato independiente asegura que él pensó que le habían secuestrado a la niña, pero luego se enteró que más bien una comadre se la había llevado.


Entre El Bronco y el México bronco

En Nuevo León se abre una nueva oportunidad para cambiar el deplorable destino de la democracia mexicana. Jaime, El Bronco, Rodríguez, un candidato independiente llamado a gobernar una de las entidades más ricas y poderosas de la nación, cuyo apodo tal vez se adecua más al de un boxeador de barriada, se dice que es un político “resentido, camaleónico”, traidor al PRI que se negó a postular su candidatura, un individuo “violento, terco, ególatra, mitómano, un probable dictadorcito”, además de un individuo sin una clara definición política incapaz de demostrar el origen de su patrimonio, entre otros cargos no menos temerarios.

Si el electorado neoleonés, víctima de la desesperación por el desastroso papel de Medina, se equivoca al votar por El Bronco, porque éste resulta ser una réplica mal hecha del PRI, bien podríamos violentarnos ante la falta de resultados.

El índice de embarazos entre la población adolescente

Monterrey.- El índice de embarazos entre la población adolescente es un tema que preocupa a las autoridades de salud en Nuevo León, ya que los indicadores muestran un incremento de siete puntos porcentuales en la última década.

Durante los eventos para conmemorar el Día Mundial de la Población, la Secretaría de Salud dio a conocer los resultados de un estudio efectuado en el 2010, año en que se

Monterrey.- El índice de embarazos entre la población adolescente es un tema que preocupa a las autoridades de salud en Nuevo León, ya que los indicadores muestran un incremento de siete puntos porcentuales en la última década.

Durante los eventos para conmemorar el Día Mundial de la Población, la Secretaría de Salud dio a conocer los resultados de un estudio efectuado en el 2010, año en que se

la cultura neolonesa

Nací y fui criado en Monterrey. Mis raíces familiares en Nuevo León, el Nuevo León histórico que comprende lo que hoy en día es Texas, Coahuila, Nuevo León y Tamaulipas, se remontan por lo seguro a por lo menos cuatro generaciones. Por mis venas corre sangre americana, así que puedo afirmar con contundencia que soy un mexicano con raíces americanas milenarias. Por otro lado tengo ancestros sefarditas, portugueses, alemanes, e ingleses. Aunque mi conocimiento de las culturas y las lenguas maternas es nulo, culturalmente y étnicamente tengo muy poco que ver con la América precolombina. Sé algunos hechos aislados sobre los mexicas y la conquista, y prácticamente nada sobre las tribus americanas del norte que fueron exterminadas por mis abuelos. El carácter de la cultura neolonesa es más bien sefardita: palabras como huerco, comidas como el cabrito y las tortillas de harina, gusto por limones e higos, el acordeón, la circuncisión.

Los sefarditas llegaron a nuestras montañas y desiertos en busca de la libertad religiosa. Vinimos en busca de la tierra prometida. Nuestros orígenes judíos han sido olvidados en la conciencia popular: porque manifestar abiertamente el judaísmo significaba en los tiempos coloniales ser quemado vivo o ahorcado por la Inquisición, cuanto mayor el rango, mayor el riesgo. Con el tiempo, practicar el judaísmo implicaba ser excluido por parientes y vecinos, que se habían convertido en fervientes católicos.

Entiendo porque rusos y neoyorquinos claman con vehemencia que Palestina les pertenece. El pillaje, cuando la escala es lo suficientemente grande, se convierte en botín de guerra, y patrimonio legítimo de la Nación y el Pueblo.

Los hechos son los hechos e Israel existe. Pero Israel no tiene que ser un Estado genocida con un régimen jurídico racista e intolerante. De manera similar a como desapareció el apartheid en Sudáfrica, el régimen de Israel puede cambiar a algo más humano. Ha sucedido y podría suceder de nuevo. La alternativa es la auto-destrucción eventual del Estado judío.

Nací y fui criado en Monterrey. Mis raíces familiares en Nuevo León, el Nuevo León histórico que comprende lo que hoy en día es Texas, Coahuila, Nuevo León y Tamaulipas, se remontan por lo seguro a por lo menos cuatro generaciones. Por mis venas corre sangre americana, así que puedo afirmar con contundencia que soy un mexicano con raíces americanas milenarias. Por otro lado tengo ancestros sefarditas, portugueses, alemanes, e ingleses. Aunque mi conocimiento de las culturas y las lenguas maternas es nulo, culturalmente y étnicamente tengo muy poco que ver con la América precolombina. Sé algunos hechos aislados sobre los mexicas y la conquista, y prácticamente nada sobre las tribus americanas del norte que fueron exterminadas por mis abuelos. El carácter de la cultura neolonesa es más bien sefardita: palabras como huerco, comidas como el cabrito y las tortillas de harina, gusto por limones e higos, el acordeón, la circuncisión.

Los sefarditas llegaron a nuestras montañas y desiertos en busca de la libertad religiosa. Vinimos en busca de la tierra prometida. Nuestros orígenes judíos han sido olvidados en la conciencia popular: porque manifestar abiertamente el judaísmo significaba en los tiempos coloniales ser quemado vivo o ahorcado por la Inquisición, cuanto mayor el rango, mayor el riesgo. Con el tiempo, practicar el judaísmo implicaba ser excluido por parientes y vecinos, que se habían convertido en fervientes católicos.

Entiendo porque rusos y neoyorquinos claman con vehemencia que Palestina les pertenece. El pillaje, cuando la escala es lo suficientemente grande, se convierte en botín de guerra, y patrimonio legítimo de la Nación y el Pueblo.

Los hechos son los hechos e Israel existe. Pero Israel no tiene que ser un Estado genocida con un régimen jurídico racista e intolerante. De manera similar a como desapareció el apartheid en Sudáfrica, el régimen de Israel puede cambiar a algo más humano. Ha sucedido y podría suceder de nuevo. La alternativa es la auto-destrucción eventual del Estado judío.

A European Settler State

I was born and raised in a European settler State. When I was a child,  ethnic cleansing seemed normal and even heroic and just. I grew watching Westerns where cowardly savages killed women and children but when fought by a … Continue reading


I was born and raised in a European settler State. When I was a child,  ethnic cleansing seemed normal and even heroic and just. I grew watching Westerns where cowardly savages killed women and children but when fought by a handful of cowboys died by the hundreds. However, I do not think of myself as Sephardi, Portuguese, German, or English. My knowledge of the mother cultures and languages is nil. My family roots in Nuevo León, the greater Nuevo León that included what today´s Texas, Coahuila, Nuevo Léon, and Tamaulipas, go back for at least four generations. In fact, I also have some American blood so I can claim with confidence that I am a Mexican with millenarian roots in America. Yet culturally and ethnically I have only a little to do with precolombian America. I know a few isolated facts about the Mexicas and the Conquest, and even less about the Northern American tribes that were completely exterminated by my forefathers. If anything, nuevoleones culture is Sephardi in character: words like uerco, foods like goat and arab bread, a taste for lemons and figs, the accordion, circumcision .

Sephardis came to the mountains and the desert looking for religious freedom. We came in search of the promised land. Our Jewish origins have been forgotten in the popular conscience because being openly Jewish signified in the old times being burned alive or hanged by the Inquisition, the higher the rank, higher the risk, and latter being ostracized by relatives and neighbors that had become fervent Catholics.

Sephardi Jews, better known in English as Sephardic Jews or derived from Hebrew simply Sephardim (Hebrew: ??????????,Modern Sfaraddi Tiberian S?p??raddî, lit. “The Jews of Spain”), are a Jewish ethnic division whose ethnogenesis and emergence as a distinct community of Jews coalesced in the Iberian Peninsula around the start of the 2nd millennium. They established communities throughout Spain and Portugal, where they traditionally resided, evolving what would become their distinctive characteristics anddiasporic identity. Their millennial residence as an open and organised Jewish community in Iberia was brought to an end starting with the issuance of the Alhambra Decree by Spain’s Catholic Monarchs in the late 15th century, which resulted in a combination of internal and external migrations, mass conversions, and executions.

Historically, the vernacular language of Sephardi Jews was Ladino, a Romance language derived from Old Spanish, incorporating elements from all the old Romance languages of the Iberian Peninsula, Hebrew, Aramaic, and in the lands receiving those who were exiled, Ottoman Turkish, Arabic, Greek, Bulgarian and Serbo-Croatian vocabulary.

Thus, I do understand when Russians and New Yorkers say with vehemence that Palestine is their land. Land got by stealing and murdering, when the scale is big enough, become spoils of war, and the rightful property of the Nation and the People.

Facts are facts and Israel exists. But Israel does not need to be an apartheid genocidal State. In a similar way that apartheid disappeared in South Africa, the present Israel regime can change into something more humane. It has happen and it could happen. The alternative is the eventual self-destruction of the Jewish State.

la frontera

De Tabasco a Tamaulipas: la ruta de los secuestros
Enviado el Wednesday, 30 September a las 23:11:57
Tópico: Estados

La zona de Tabasco a la frontera norte de Tamaulipas se ha convertido en los últimos años en una ruta de alto riesgo para los indocumentados.

Los casos de secuestros, asaltos, agresiones y abusos a migrantes, principalmente centroamericanos, por parte del crimen organizado se han incrementado en esta región en medio de la apatía y corrupción de las autoridades, sostienen la Comisión Nacional de Derechos Humanos (CNDH)y la Iglesia católica.

El Informe Especial sobre los Casos de Secuestros en contra de Migrantes de la CNDH, indica que, de diez mil indocumentados plagiados en seis meses, el 55 % de los delitos se cometió en Veracruz y Tabasco.

En algunos casos se documenta que los centroamericanos fueron trasladados a casas de seguridad o bodegas ubicadas en Reynosa, Tamaulipas, desde donde los captores exigían a los familiares un pago por su liberación.
“Se concentran en Reynosa, ya sea porque los secuestros se lleven a cabo ahí o porque son secuestrados desde el sur de la República, como en Coatzacoalcos, en Tenosique. Entonces, es en Reynosa en donde finalmente son trasladados para pedir el rescate”, asegura el quinto visitador del organismo, Mauricio Farah.
El funcionario no descarta que grupos armados como los “Zetas” estén involucrados en los secuestros, pues el organismo defensor de los derechos humanos ha documentado que este grupo delictivo está frecuentemente relacionado en la comisión de este delito en el corredor Tabasco-Tamaulipas.
En lo que va del año, el Ejército ha liberado a más de 550 indocumentados, la mayoría centroamericanos, retenidos por el crimen organizado en al menos cinco casas de seguridad, cuatro en Reynosa y una en Río Bravo, Tamaulipas.

Los sacerdotes Francisco Pellizzari, responsable de la Casa Nazareth de Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, y Alejandro Solalinde Guerra, responsable de la Casa del Migrante en Ixtepec, Oaxaca, coinciden en que los “Zetas”, brazo armado del Cártel del Golfo tienen el control del tráfico de personas y secuestro en el Golfo de México.
“Hay una coordinación de todos estos grupos de “Zetas”, pero hay todo un aparato oficial que está al servicio de ellos, que está pagado por ellos.
“Ellos pueden desplazarse, ya sean “Zetas” o “Zetitas” (sería como la franquicia del grupo armado).Tienen capacidad para ir desde Centroamérica, todo el recorrido pueden hacerlo, hasta Estados Unidos, pasando Chiapas, Oaxaca, Veracruz, Tamaulipas. Ellos vuelven a regresar. Si hay alguno que no está ‘registrado’ o que no paga, que no está debidamente ‘documentado’ con ellos, lo torturan, lo matan”, indicó Solalinde.
Según Pellizzari, no siempre el agente o el policía es corrupto porque quiere dinero, sino porque está amenazado. “No siempre la gente es corrupta porque quiere, sino porque a veces necesita salvar su vida y la de sus familiares.
“El acoso que usan las bandas de delincuentes es muy interesante. Es un acoso psicológico, constante, todos los días de la semana, ‘te estamos cuidando’, ‘te estamos checando’, ‘sabemos dónde estás’. Te inmovilizan. Esto, si lo vivimos nosotros, ¿cuánto más lo puede llegar a sentir un migrante, que es un don nadie en la calle?”, cuestionó Pellizzari.
En la impunidad.- Una investigación realizada por la CNDH entre septiembre de 2008 y febrero de 2009 arroja que en este lapso:

9,758 indocumentados fueron secuestrados.
6,555 permanecieron en cautiverio en casas de seguridad.
2,448 estuvieron varios días en bodegas.
2,500 dólares, monto promedio del pago de rescate.
Del sueño a la pesadilla.- Relatos de migrantes que la CNDH incluye en el libro Bienvenidos al Infierno del Secuestro y donde se acusa a ‘Los Zetas’ del plagio

Describen a sicarios.- Un migrante secuestrado por “Los Zetas” describe a los integrantes de este grupo delictivo.
“La mayoría de ‘Los Zetas’, bueno, el grupo principal, lo forman los mexicanos, pero trabajan muchos centroamericanos, hondureños, salvadoreños, nicaragüenses.
“Caminan con muchas armas, como con 5 ó 6 armas cada sujeto. Usan botas con sus pantalones por dentro. Son de piel blanca, con muchos tatuajes en sus brazos, en sus espaldas en todo su cuerpo y la mayoría tienen cicatrices en cualquier parte de su rostro”, dice.
En su caso, un supuesto pollero lo llevó, junto con otros migrantes a una casa, les dio de comer y, posteriormente, empezó a pedir números telefónicos de sus familias.
Todos dieron sus teléfonos, menos él y dos personas más.
“Llamó a uno de ‘Los Zetas’. Nos dice: ‘¿Y quién es el que no quiere dar el número? Den esos números en una hora, y si no, vengo por ustedes. Y se fue”.
Finalmente, como la mayoría de los familiares de los migrantes secuestrados pagó rescate, dejaron ir a quienes no proporcionaron los números telefónicos.
‘Aquí no existe Dios’.- Chucho, de nacionalidad salvadoreña, cuenta la historia de unos amigos que fueron secuestrados por la Mara Salvatrucha.
“La Mara los entrega a ‘Los Zetas’ y ‘Los Zetas’ dan comisión a la Mara.
“Hay ‘zetas’ que son salvadoreños, hay ‘zetas’ que son guatemaltecos, que no les importa ver a un hombre llorar, sacarle los sesos. Cuando uno les habla de Dios, nomás se enojan. ‘Aquí no existe Dios’, me dicen, ‘aquí existimos nada más nosotros'”, relata.
Dice que uno de sus amigos logró escapar de “Los Zetas” y denunciar su secuestro a la Policía. Le dio señas de la casa donde lo tuvieron y le prometieron ayuda.
“Lo llevaron nuevamente ahí, con ‘Los Zetas’. Entonces le dijeron: ‘Para que aprendas, te vamos a cortar la mano, cabrón’, y se la cortaron.
“Lo dejaron abandonado. Llegó la Cruz Roja y lo llevó al hospital, pero no hay investigación”, agrega Chucho.
De acuerdo con el salvadoreño, el grupo armado que opera para el Cártel del Golfo recibe, vía Western Union, entre 2 mil y 5 mil dólares por 15 personas todos los días sin que la empresa haga preguntas.
“Espero en Dios que no me vuelva a topar con ‘Los Zetas’, porque cuando estás ahí estás tocando el infierno con tus propias manos”, indica.
‘La Policía nos reportó’.- Juana y su hermano iban saliendo de Tampico cuando los detuvieron agentes del Instituto Nacional de Migración y de la Policía Federal en una caseta. A medianoche los dejaron en una calle oscura, los subieron a unos carros y los trasladaron a una casa donde estuvieron 9 días, hasta que sus familiares pagaron el rescate.
Relatan que cuando llegaron a la casa de seguridad había 100 personas más y a una muchacha la estaban violando.
“Yo digo que eran ‘Los Zetas’ porque ellos mismos lo dijeron: ‘ustedes no saben con quién están, están con el Cártel del Golfo y ‘Los Zetas'”, cuenta Juana.
Dice que, después de que se pagó por su liberación, los plagiarios los subieron a un autobús y les cambiaron el nombre.
“A mí me pusieron Carmen Rebollosa y cuando íbamos pasando la caseta que está saliendo de Tampico, ya estábamos reportados con ‘Los Zetas’.
“Reportaron que nosotros veníamos en el asiento 25 y 26, y en la otra caseta, entrando a Reynosa, también ya estábamos reportados. La Policía y ellos trabajan juntos. Yo sé que ya estábamos reportados, porque ellos nos lo dijeron: ‘El asiento 25 y 26 ya están reportados por ellos, a ellos ya no hay que tocarlos'”,sostiene Juana.


01 de febrero de 201412:52

California.- Activistas han expresado su ira por una fotografía en la que un agente de la Patrulla Fronteriza ayuda a un menor a disparar con una pistola de paintball contra un objetivo que asemeja a una persona.

La escena parece representar como si se abriera fuego contra un inmigrante, a decir de los activistas.

Sin embargo, la Patrulla Fronteriza señaló el viernes en un comunicado que cualquier sugerencia que implique que la agencia enseña a civiles a atacar a inmigrantes es totalmente falsa.

La fotografía, en la que se ve un dispositivo que parece un arma, fue tomada durante una demostración de la Policía en un centro comercial cerca de la frontera mexicana.

El portavoz Paul D. Carr dijo que el objetivo utilizado fue una figura antropomorfa sin características particulares como las que se utilizan de manera ordinaria en los campos de tiro.

“El objetivo utilizado es el común usado por las autoridades y por aficionados en todo EU”, dijo Carr.

Para el presidente del Consorcio de Derechos de los Inmigrantes en San Diego, Pedro Ríos, la demostración fue inadmisible porque implicó a un menor y se efectuó en un lugar próximo a zonas donde han sido baleadas personas de verdad.

Las fotos fueron tomadas durante una celebración de la Fundación Roberto J. Durán, creada por varios agentes fronterizos en memoria de un agente fallecido en 2002, que se realiza desde hace 10 años en la zona fronteriza de San Ysidro, California.

El evento consiste en una carrera de 5 kilómetros, y en ninguna parte del sitio web se menciona un juego con armas, pero, según testigos citados por diario El País, la actividad se realiza al menos desde 2012.

Algunas de las fotos estaban en la página de Facebook del evento, que desde entonces ha sido borrada.

“Es una seria falta de sensibilidad que permitan a menores usar a una figura que representa a un migrante, cuando a unos 100 metros de allí agentes de la patrulla fronteriza han estado involucrados en actos donde migrantes han perdido la vida”, dijo el director del Comité de Servicios Americanos al diario El País.


Los barzonistas de Chihuahua se dicen víctimas del que consideran desgobierno de César Duarte. Incluso lo acusan del asesinato de su compañero Ismael Solorio y su esposa, todo por defender el agua de la que, dicen, se apropian los mineros y un grupo de menonitas pudientes. Y aun cuando han expuesto su problema en diversas instancias estatales y federales nadie les hace caso. Lo peor: Se enteraron de que sus cabezas tienen precio, pues algunos menonitas intentaron contratar a La Línea para que los ejecutaran. En esas tierras, las del desierto del norte del estado, los narcos imponen la ley.

CHIHUAHUA, Chih. (Proceso).- Con el rostro hinchado, morado por los golpes propinados dos días antes por empleados de la minera Mag Silver, Ismael Solorio entró al Palacio de Gobierno de Chihuahua acompañado de otros campesinos y defensores de los derechos humanos y le advirtió a Raymundo Romero, secretario de Gobierno del estado: “Si no se arregla el asunto de la mina en nuestro ejido Benito Juárez, va a haber muertos”.

Los integrantes de El Barzón que ese 15 de octubre lo acompañaban expusieron la campaña de linchamiento que enfrentan por su lucha en defensa del agua y se pronunciaron contra las extracciones ilegales por parte de la minera y de un grupo de menonitas con poder económico. De las amenazas, dijeron, se pasó a la agresión física; también aportaron información sobre el precio que, según relataron, los acaparadores ofrecieron a sicarios para que los mataran.

Una semana después, el 22 de octubre, Solorio –líder estatal del Barzón– volvió a entrar al palacio. Esta vez acompañado por su esposa, Manuela Martha Solís. Los dos iban en ataúdes color caoba. En ese recinto fueron velados.

Los barzonistas, enardecidos, indignados, adoloridos, insistieron en que se trató de un “crimen de Estado”. La policía estatal intentó desalojarlos pero no hubo manera: era mucha la rabia contenida.

Solorio Urrutia y su esposa fueron víctimas del desgobierno en esa entidad y de la inacción de las autoridades federales. Fueron asesinados por defender el agua, escasa en el desierto chihuahuense; por exigir el respeto a la veda impuesta en su región desde 1957, que prohíbe las perforaciones de nuevos pozos y las obras de retención del líquido.

El exdiputado Víctor Quintana, dirigente del Movimiento Regeneración Nacional (Morena) en el estado y quien estuvo presente en la reunión del 15 de octubre, dijo que dos días después de ese encuentro, Solorio, Martín Solís y Heraclio Rodríguez fueron amenazados ante el Congreso del estado por asalariados de la minera, quienes estaban acompañados por integrantes de la Confederación Nacional Campesina.

“En las videograbaciones del ‘acribillamiento verbal’ se puede apreciar a varios sicarios que actúan en el ejido Benito Juárez”, escribió el político.

En un céntrico hotel del Distrito Federal, Proceso entrevista a la abogada del Barzón, Lucha Castro, también directora del Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Mujer (Cedehm). Están también los líderes estatales Rodríguez, Solís, Gabino Gómez y Joaquín Solorio, hermano de Ismael, quienes se dicen amenazados. Saben que se fijó un precio por su cabeza.

Hacen una pausa en medio de sus idas al Senado, a organizaciones de derechos humanos, a los medios, a oficinas de gobierno donde repiten el relato del asesinato anunciado y la historia de corrupción, negligencia, complicidad e irregularidades en el que está enmarcado.

Tierra de narcos

El noroeste de Chihuahua, donde se ubica el ejido Benito Juárez, es un enclave peligroso. Es una zona árida, de poca vegetación y altas montañas. Sus habitantes nutrieron los movimientos agrarios del siglo pasado y es cuna de personas como Solorio, que desde los noventa participó en cabalgatas, caravanas y marchas hacia la Ciudad de México en defensa del campo.

Hasta ahí se llega por caminos varicosos que cruzan montañas y despoblados, por los que se puede llegar a Estados Unidos. Es la ruta donde la droga se trafica por veredas. Es la ruta de pueblos fantasmas, silenciados, zona de desplazamiento por miedo (Proceso 1734).

Aunque en octubre de 2010 la PGR ofreció recompensas de 3 millones de pesos por los cabecillas de las bandas que operan en la zona, éstos siguen libres. Son Eduardo Gallegos Valdez, El Lalo; Óscar Rafael Ruiz Gallegos, El Junior; Juan Ismael Granillo Chavira, El Chorrias; Raúl Rueda Quiroga, El Pony; Guadalupe Méndez Basurto, El Gato; Ricardo Alfredo Rueda Quiroga, El Caballo; Luis Enrique Lira, El Barrica; Manuel Adrián García Rodríguez, El Balín; Lorenzo Gallegos Valdez o Rafael Chavira Rentería o Rafael Sánchez, El Borrego.

Durante este sexenio, en esa zona ocurrió la desaparición de cuatro defensas rurales y un teniente del Ejército que viajaban desde la fronteriza Ciudad Juárez a la serrana ciudad de Madera. Posteriormente desaparecieron dos maestros.

Ahí fueron asesinados Benjamín LeBarón y su cuñado, lo que dio inicio a las acciones de autodefensa de la comunidad mormona en el municipio de Galeana, aun bajo protección de policías federales (Proceso 1706). Después, José Alfredo Silly Peña, el coordinador nacional de inteligencia de la Policía Federal; les siguieron los dos agentes comisionados para investigar el crimen. Ambos fueron ejecutados en una mina de Benito Juárez, lo que propició la entrada del Ejército para “reventar” las casas de los narcos. Durante ese tiempo las tropas desaparecieron a los primos Nitza Paola Alvarado Espinoza, José Ángel Alvarado Herrera y Rocío Irene Alvarado Reyes (Proceso 1842).

En este contexto los barzonistas están en una situación complicada: requieren protección pero bajo un esquema distinto. Saben que si piden la intervención del Ejército o la Policía Federal, los narcotraficantes, los verdaderos amos del territorio, no les perdonarían haber calentado la plaza.

“Nuestra pelea no es contra ellos (los narcos), nuestra intención no es interferir en sus cosas. Nuestra denuncia es contra el gobierno omiso de la aplicación de leyes porque nos están dejando sin agua; no queremos que el gobierno aproveche este conflicto para hacer su tarea sucia y que nosotros seamos afectados porque nosotros vamos a seguir viviendo en la comunidad. Sólo queremos que aplique la ley por las demandas del agua y la minería ilegal, esclarezca el móvil, dé con los autores materiales e intelectuales y se responsabilice de nuestra seguridad sin calentar los ánimos de la región”, explican los barzonistas.

Por eso, dicen, les indignó que el jueves 1 por la noche un convoy de 70 camionetas de soldados y federales paseara por el ejido y se retirara dos horas después.

(Extracto del reportaje que se publica esta semana en la revista Proceso 1879)


MÉXICO, D.F. (proceso.com.mx).- La caravana de madres de migrantes centroamericanos “Liberando la Esperanza” concluyó este sábado su recorrido de 19 días por 14 entidades del país en su búsqueda de sus seres queridos desaparecidos en su paso por México.

Las mujeres procedentes de El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras y Guatemala iniciaron su trayecto el pasado 14 de octubre.

Durante su recorrido, las madres centroamericanas presenciaron cinco reencuentros, el primero de ellos en la casa del migrante “La 72, hogar-refugio para personas migrantes”, localizada en Tenosique, Tabasco, y el segundo en las afueras de Monterrey, Nuevo León. Los tres reencuentros restantes se realizaron, uno, en la Ciudad de México, y dos en Chiapas.

Durante su recorrido, las integrantes de la caravana le recordaron al Estado mexicano su responsabilidad por el hostigamiento, la persecución, la discriminación y la violencia hacia sus hijos cuando atraviesan este territorio con el propósito de llegar a Estados Unidos, todo ello con la complicidad de “funcionarios corruptos”.

Tras concluir su recorrido por México, la caravana emitió una declaratoria.

En el documento, leído en conferencia de prensa, señalan que buscaron la empatía de la sociedad mexicana para la causa migrante, además de “exigir a los gobiernos centroamericanos y mexicano, que de manera definitiva ejecuten acciones congruentes, a fin de detener la crisis humanitaria que afecta a los migrantes centroamericanos y sus familiares”.

Agregan que “encontramos que las organizaciones criminales amplían cada vez más su espectro de acción con estas poblaciones migrantes, donde la trata y el secuestro ya ocupan el segundo lugar de ingresos para la delincuencia organizada”.

Además, sostienen, el secuestro, la extorsión, el asesinato, la violación de mujeres y hombres, y la trata de personas son una constante que convierte a los migrantes en una mercancía más para sus gigantescas ganancias económicas, según el texto, reproducido por Notimex.

Destacaron que “los gobiernos locales sólo nos ayudaron con temas de seguridad, pero no hubo ningún compromiso verdadero, ningún gobernador de los estados tuvo ese interés por escuchar a las madres, dijo Rubén Figueroa, integrante del Movimiento Migrante Mesoamericano a la agencia noticiosa EFE.



Dallas, Texas.- Al menos dos inmigrantes murieron y otro más resultó herido, luego de que un agente del Departamento de Seguridad Pública de Texas (DPS) disparó desde un helicóptero contra un vehículo en el que viajaban varios indocumentados, se informó hoy.

El DPS confirmó este viernes la muerte de los dos indocumentados en el incidente registrado alrededor de las 15:00 horas del jueves (20:00 GMT) al norte de la comunidad de La Joya, en la frontera con México.

Mientras, el consulado de Guatemala en McAllen ya investiga los hechos pues las víctimas podrían ser originarias de ese país.

En un comunicado, el DPS indicó que se lleva a cabo la investigación correspondiente ya que al parecer el vehículo era seguido por las autoridades al considerarlo como sospechoso de transportar un cargamento con drogas.

El incidente ocurrió cuando un helicóptero de la DPS se sumó a la persecución de un vehículo sospechoso, que era seguido por agentes del Servicio de Parques y Vida Silvestre de Texas.

El vehículo, un pick-up rojo de modelo reciente, “parecía tener una típica carga de droga cubierta” en la parte trasera y “estaba viajando a velocidades imprudentes que ponen en peligro al público”, señaló la corporación.

El DPS admitió que uno de sus patrulleros disparó su arma desde el helicóptero para desactivar al vehículo y que una vez que el automóvil se detuvo se determinó que no transportaba droga, sino a 10 indocumentados, dos de ellos murieron y otro resultó lesionado.

Los agentes del DPS y de la Patrulla Fronteriza detuvieron a los otros siete indocumentados en el lugar y transportaron al lesionado a un hospital de la zona.

El DPS informó que la investigación está siendo conducida por los “Texas Rangers”, el grupo elite de la policía estatal. El agente que disparó el arma está bajo suspensión administrativa, mientras se concluye la averiguación.

De Tabasco a Tamaulipas: la ruta de los secuestros
Enviado el Wednesday, 30 September a las 23:11:57
Tópico: Estados

La zona de Tabasco a la frontera norte de Tamaulipas se ha convertido en los últimos años en una ruta de alto riesgo para los indocumentados.

Los casos de secuestros, asaltos, agresiones y abusos a migrantes, principalmente centroamericanos, por parte del crimen organizado se han incrementado en esta región en medio de la apatía y corrupción de las autoridades, sostienen la Comisión Nacional de Derechos Humanos (CNDH)y la Iglesia católica.

El Informe Especial sobre los Casos de Secuestros en contra de Migrantes de la CNDH, indica que, de diez mil indocumentados plagiados en seis meses, el 55 % de los delitos se cometió en Veracruz y Tabasco.

En algunos casos se documenta que los centroamericanos fueron trasladados a casas de seguridad o bodegas ubicadas en Reynosa, Tamaulipas, desde donde los captores exigían a los familiares un pago por su liberación.
“Se concentran en Reynosa, ya sea porque los secuestros se lleven a cabo ahí o porque son secuestrados desde el sur de la República, como en Coatzacoalcos, en Tenosique. Entonces, es en Reynosa en donde finalmente son trasladados para pedir el rescate”, asegura el quinto visitador del organismo, Mauricio Farah.
El funcionario no descarta que grupos armados como los “Zetas” estén involucrados en los secuestros, pues el organismo defensor de los derechos humanos ha documentado que este grupo delictivo está frecuentemente relacionado en la comisión de este delito en el corredor Tabasco-Tamaulipas.
En lo que va del año, el Ejército ha liberado a más de 550 indocumentados, la mayoría centroamericanos, retenidos por el crimen organizado en al menos cinco casas de seguridad, cuatro en Reynosa y una en Río Bravo, Tamaulipas.

Los sacerdotes Francisco Pellizzari, responsable de la Casa Nazareth de Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, y Alejandro Solalinde Guerra, responsable de la Casa del Migrante en Ixtepec, Oaxaca, coinciden en que los “Zetas”, brazo armado del Cártel del Golfo tienen el control del tráfico de personas y secuestro en el Golfo de México.
“Hay una coordinación de todos estos grupos de “Zetas”, pero hay todo un aparato oficial que está al servicio de ellos, que está pagado por ellos.
“Ellos pueden desplazarse, ya sean “Zetas” o “Zetitas” (sería como la franquicia del grupo armado).Tienen capacidad para ir desde Centroamérica, todo el recorrido pueden hacerlo, hasta Estados Unidos, pasando Chiapas, Oaxaca, Veracruz, Tamaulipas. Ellos vuelven a regresar. Si hay alguno que no está ‘registrado’ o que no paga, que no está debidamente ‘documentado’ con ellos, lo torturan, lo matan”, indicó Solalinde.
Según Pellizzari, no siempre el agente o el policía es corrupto porque quiere dinero, sino porque está amenazado. “No siempre la gente es corrupta porque quiere, sino porque a veces necesita salvar su vida y la de sus familiares.
“El acoso que usan las bandas de delincuentes es muy interesante. Es un acoso psicológico, constante, todos los días de la semana, ‘te estamos cuidando’, ‘te estamos checando’, ‘sabemos dónde estás’. Te inmovilizan. Esto, si lo vivimos nosotros, ¿cuánto más lo puede llegar a sentir un migrante, que es un don nadie en la calle?”, cuestionó Pellizzari.
En la impunidad.- Una investigación realizada por la CNDH entre septiembre de 2008 y febrero de 2009 arroja que en este lapso:

9,758 indocumentados fueron secuestrados.
6,555 permanecieron en cautiverio en casas de seguridad.
2,448 estuvieron varios días en bodegas.
2,500 dólares, monto promedio del pago de rescate.
Del sueño a la pesadilla.- Relatos de migrantes que la CNDH incluye en el libro Bienvenidos al Infierno del Secuestro y donde se acusa a ‘Los Zetas’ del plagio

Describen a sicarios.- Un migrante secuestrado por “Los Zetas” describe a los integrantes de este grupo delictivo.
“La mayoría de ‘Los Zetas’, bueno, el grupo principal, lo forman los mexicanos, pero trabajan muchos centroamericanos, hondureños, salvadoreños, nicaragüenses.
“Caminan con muchas armas, como con 5 ó 6 armas cada sujeto. Usan botas con sus pantalones por dentro. Son de piel blanca, con muchos tatuajes en sus brazos, en sus espaldas en todo su cuerpo y la mayoría tienen cicatrices en cualquier parte de su rostro”, dice.
En su caso, un supuesto pollero lo llevó, junto con otros migrantes a una casa, les dio de comer y, posteriormente, empezó a pedir números telefónicos de sus familias.
Todos dieron sus teléfonos, menos él y dos personas más.
“Llamó a uno de ‘Los Zetas’. Nos dice: ‘¿Y quién es el que no quiere dar el número? Den esos números en una hora, y si no, vengo por ustedes. Y se fue”.
Finalmente, como la mayoría de los familiares de los migrantes secuestrados pagó rescate, dejaron ir a quienes no proporcionaron los números telefónicos.
‘Aquí no existe Dios’.- Chucho, de nacionalidad salvadoreña, cuenta la historia de unos amigos que fueron secuestrados por la Mara Salvatrucha.
“La Mara los entrega a ‘Los Zetas’ y ‘Los Zetas’ dan comisión a la Mara.
“Hay ‘zetas’ que son salvadoreños, hay ‘zetas’ que son guatemaltecos, que no les importa ver a un hombre llorar, sacarle los sesos. Cuando uno les habla de Dios, nomás se enojan. ‘Aquí no existe Dios’, me dicen, ‘aquí existimos nada más nosotros'”, relata.
Dice que uno de sus amigos logró escapar de “Los Zetas” y denunciar su secuestro a la Policía. Le dio señas de la casa donde lo tuvieron y le prometieron ayuda.
“Lo llevaron nuevamente ahí, con ‘Los Zetas’. Entonces le dijeron: ‘Para que aprendas, te vamos a cortar la mano, cabrón’, y se la cortaron.
“Lo dejaron abandonado. Llegó la Cruz Roja y lo llevó al hospital, pero no hay investigación”, agrega Chucho.
De acuerdo con el salvadoreño, el grupo armado que opera para el Cártel del Golfo recibe, vía Western Union, entre 2 mil y 5 mil dólares por 15 personas todos los días sin que la empresa haga preguntas.
“Espero en Dios que no me vuelva a topar con ‘Los Zetas’, porque cuando estás ahí estás tocando el infierno con tus propias manos”, indica.
‘La Policía nos reportó’.- Juana y su hermano iban saliendo de Tampico cuando los detuvieron agentes del Instituto Nacional de Migración y de la Policía Federal en una caseta. A medianoche los dejaron en una calle oscura, los subieron a unos carros y los trasladaron a una casa donde estuvieron 9 días, hasta que sus familiares pagaron el rescate.
Relatan que cuando llegaron a la casa de seguridad había 100 personas más y a una muchacha la estaban violando.
“Yo digo que eran ‘Los Zetas’ porque ellos mismos lo dijeron: ‘ustedes no saben con quién están, están con el Cártel del Golfo y ‘Los Zetas'”, cuenta Juana.
Dice que, después de que se pagó por su liberación, los plagiarios los subieron a un autobús y les cambiaron el nombre.
“A mí me pusieron Carmen Rebollosa y cuando íbamos pasando la caseta que está saliendo de Tampico, ya estábamos reportados con ‘Los Zetas’.
“Reportaron que nosotros veníamos en el asiento 25 y 26, y en la otra caseta, entrando a Reynosa, también ya estábamos reportados. La Policía y ellos trabajan juntos. Yo sé que ya estábamos reportados, porque ellos nos lo dijeron: ‘El asiento 25 y 26 ya están reportados por ellos, a ellos ya no hay que tocarlos'”,sostiene Juana.


California.- Activistas han expresado su ira por una fotografía en la que un agente de la Patrulla Fronteriza ayuda a un menor a disparar con una pistola de paintball contra un objetivo que asemeja a una persona.

La escena parece representar como si se abriera fuego contra un inmigrante, a decir de los activistas.

Sin embargo, la Patrulla Fronteriza señaló el viernes en un comunicado que cualquier sugerencia que implique que la agencia enseña a civiles a atacar a inmigrantes es totalmente falsa.

La fotografía, en la que se ve un dispositivo que parece un arma, fue tomada durante una demostración de la Policía en un centro comercial cerca de la frontera mexicana.

El portavoz Paul D. Carr dijo que el objetivo utilizado fue una figura antropomorfa sin características particulares como las que se utilizan de manera ordinaria en los campos de tiro.

“El objetivo utilizado es el común usado por las autoridades y por aficionados en todo EU”, dijo Carr.

Para el presidente del Consorcio de Derechos de los Inmigrantes en San Diego, Pedro Ríos, la demostración fue inadmisible porque implicó a un menor y se efectuó en un lugar próximo a zonas donde han sido baleadas personas de verdad.

Las fotos fueron tomadas durante una celebración de la Fundación Roberto J. Durán, creada por varios agentes fronterizos en memoria de un agente fallecido en 2002, que se realiza desde hace 10 años en la zona fronteriza de San Ysidro, California.

El evento consiste en una carrera de 5 kilómetros, y en ninguna parte del sitio web se menciona un juego con armas, pero, según testigos citados por diario El País, la actividad se realiza al menos desde 2012.

Algunas de las fotos estaban en la página de Facebook del evento, que desde entonces ha sido borrada.

“Es una seria falta de sensibilidad que permitan a menores usar a una figura que representa a un migrante, cuando a unos 100 metros de allí agentes de la patrulla fronteriza han estado involucrados en actos donde migrantes han perdido la vida”, dijo el director del Comité de Servicios Americanos al diario El País.


Los barzonistas de Chihuahua se dicen víctimas del que consideran desgobierno de César Duarte. Incluso lo acusan del asesinato de su compañero Ismael Solorio y su esposa, todo por defender el agua de la que, dicen, se apropian los mineros y un grupo de menonitas pudientes. Y aun cuando han expuesto su problema en diversas instancias estatales y federales nadie les hace caso. Lo peor: Se enteraron de que sus cabezas tienen precio, pues algunos menonitas intentaron contratar a La Línea para que los ejecutaran. En esas tierras, las del desierto del norte del estado, los narcos imponen la ley.

CHIHUAHUA, Chih. (Proceso).- Con el rostro hinchado, morado por los golpes propinados dos días antes por empleados de la minera Mag Silver, Ismael Solorio entró al Palacio de Gobierno de Chihuahua acompañado de otros campesinos y defensores de los derechos humanos y le advirtió a Raymundo Romero, secretario de Gobierno del estado: “Si no se arregla el asunto de la mina en nuestro ejido Benito Juárez, va a haber muertos”.

Los integrantes de El Barzón que ese 15 de octubre lo acompañaban expusieron la campaña de linchamiento que enfrentan por su lucha en defensa del agua y se pronunciaron contra las extracciones ilegales por parte de la minera y de un grupo de menonitas con poder económico. De las amenazas, dijeron, se pasó a la agresión física; también aportaron información sobre el precio que, según relataron, los acaparadores ofrecieron a sicarios para que los mataran.

Una semana después, el 22 de octubre, Solorio –líder estatal del Barzón– volvió a entrar al palacio. Esta vez acompañado por su esposa, Manuela Martha Solís. Los dos iban en ataúdes color caoba. En ese recinto fueron velados.

Los barzonistas, enardecidos, indignados, adoloridos, insistieron en que se trató de un “crimen de Estado”. La policía estatal intentó desalojarlos pero no hubo manera: era mucha la rabia contenida.

Solorio Urrutia y su esposa fueron víctimas del desgobierno en esa entidad y de la inacción de las autoridades federales. Fueron asesinados por defender el agua, escasa en el desierto chihuahuense; por exigir el respeto a la veda impuesta en su región desde 1957, que prohíbe las perforaciones de nuevos pozos y las obras de retención del líquido.

El exdiputado Víctor Quintana, dirigente del Movimiento Regeneración Nacional (Morena) en el estado y quien estuvo presente en la reunión del 15 de octubre, dijo que dos días después de ese encuentro, Solorio, Martín Solís y Heraclio Rodríguez fueron amenazados ante el Congreso del estado por asalariados de la minera, quienes estaban acompañados por integrantes de la Confederación Nacional Campesina.

“En las videograbaciones del ‘acribillamiento verbal’ se puede apreciar a varios sicarios que actúan en el ejido Benito Juárez”, escribió el político.

En un céntrico hotel del Distrito Federal, Proceso entrevista a la abogada del Barzón, Lucha Castro, también directora del Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Mujer (Cedehm). Están también los líderes estatales Rodríguez, Solís, Gabino Gómez y Joaquín Solorio, hermano de Ismael, quienes se dicen amenazados. Saben que se fijó un precio por su cabeza.

Hacen una pausa en medio de sus idas al Senado, a organizaciones de derechos humanos, a los medios, a oficinas de gobierno donde repiten el relato del asesinato anunciado y la historia de corrupción, negligencia, complicidad e irregularidades en el que está enmarcado.

Tierra de narcos

El noroeste de Chihuahua, donde se ubica el ejido Benito Juárez, es un enclave peligroso. Es una zona árida, de poca vegetación y altas montañas. Sus habitantes nutrieron los movimientos agrarios del siglo pasado y es cuna de personas como Solorio, que desde los noventa participó en cabalgatas, caravanas y marchas hacia la Ciudad de México en defensa del campo.

Hasta ahí se llega por caminos varicosos que cruzan montañas y despoblados, por los que se puede llegar a Estados Unidos. Es la ruta donde la droga se trafica por veredas. Es la ruta de pueblos fantasmas, silenciados, zona de desplazamiento por miedo (Proceso 1734).

Aunque en octubre de 2010 la PGR ofreció recompensas de 3 millones de pesos por los cabecillas de las bandas que operan en la zona, éstos siguen libres. Son Eduardo Gallegos Valdez, El Lalo; Óscar Rafael Ruiz Gallegos, El Junior; Juan Ismael Granillo Chavira, El Chorrias; Raúl Rueda Quiroga, El Pony; Guadalupe Méndez Basurto, El Gato; Ricardo Alfredo Rueda Quiroga, El Caballo; Luis Enrique Lira, El Barrica; Manuel Adrián García Rodríguez, El Balín; Lorenzo Gallegos Valdez o Rafael Chavira Rentería o Rafael Sánchez, El Borrego.

Durante este sexenio, en esa zona ocurrió la desaparición de cuatro defensas rurales y un teniente del Ejército que viajaban desde la fronteriza Ciudad Juárez a la serrana ciudad de Madera. Posteriormente desaparecieron dos maestros.

Ahí fueron asesinados Benjamín LeBarón y su cuñado, lo que dio inicio a las acciones de autodefensa de la comunidad mormona en el municipio de Galeana, aun bajo protección de policías federales (Proceso 1706). Después, José Alfredo Silly Peña, el coordinador nacional de inteligencia de la Policía Federal; les siguieron los dos agentes comisionados para investigar el crimen. Ambos fueron ejecutados en una mina de Benito Juárez, lo que propició la entrada del Ejército para “reventar” las casas de los narcos. Durante ese tiempo las tropas desaparecieron a los primos Nitza Paola Alvarado Espinoza, José Ángel Alvarado Herrera y Rocío Irene Alvarado Reyes (Proceso 1842).

En este contexto los barzonistas están en una situación complicada: requieren protección pero bajo un esquema distinto. Saben que si piden la intervención del Ejército o la Policía Federal, los narcotraficantes, los verdaderos amos del territorio, no les perdonarían haber calentado la plaza.

“Nuestra pelea no es contra ellos (los narcos), nuestra intención no es interferir en sus cosas. Nuestra denuncia es contra el gobierno omiso de la aplicación de leyes porque nos están dejando sin agua; no queremos que el gobierno aproveche este conflicto para hacer su tarea sucia y que nosotros seamos afectados porque nosotros vamos a seguir viviendo en la comunidad. Sólo queremos que aplique la ley por las demandas del agua y la minería ilegal, esclarezca el móvil, dé con los autores materiales e intelectuales y se responsabilice de nuestra seguridad sin calentar los ánimos de la región”, explican los barzonistas.

Por eso, dicen, les indignó que el jueves 1 por la noche un convoy de 70 camionetas de soldados y federales paseara por el ejido y se retirara dos horas después.

(Extracto del reportaje que se publica esta semana en la revista Proceso 1879)


MÉXICO, D.F. (proceso.com.mx).- La caravana de madres de migrantes centroamericanos “Liberando la Esperanza” concluyó este sábado su recorrido de 19 días por 14 entidades del país en su búsqueda de sus seres queridos desaparecidos en su paso por México.

Las mujeres procedentes de El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras y Guatemala iniciaron su trayecto el pasado 14 de octubre.

Durante su recorrido, las madres centroamericanas presenciaron cinco reencuentros, el primero de ellos en la casa del migrante “La 72, hogar-refugio para personas migrantes”, localizada en Tenosique, Tabasco, y el segundo en las afueras de Monterrey, Nuevo León. Los tres reencuentros restantes se realizaron, uno, en la Ciudad de México, y dos en Chiapas.

Durante su recorrido, las integrantes de la caravana le recordaron al Estado mexicano su responsabilidad por el hostigamiento, la persecución, la discriminación y la violencia hacia sus hijos cuando atraviesan este territorio con el propósito de llegar a Estados Unidos, todo ello con la complicidad de “funcionarios corruptos”.

Tras concluir su recorrido por México, la caravana emitió una declaratoria.

En el documento, leído en conferencia de prensa, señalan que buscaron la empatía de la sociedad mexicana para la causa migrante, además de “exigir a los gobiernos centroamericanos y mexicano, que de manera definitiva ejecuten acciones congruentes, a fin de detener la crisis humanitaria que afecta a los migrantes centroamericanos y sus familiares”.

Agregan que “encontramos que las organizaciones criminales amplían cada vez más su espectro de acción con estas poblaciones migrantes, donde la trata y el secuestro ya ocupan el segundo lugar de ingresos para la delincuencia organizada”.

Además, sostienen, el secuestro, la extorsión, el asesinato, la violación de mujeres y hombres, y la trata de personas son una constante que convierte a los migrantes en una mercancía más para sus gigantescas ganancias económicas, según el texto, reproducido por Notimex.

Destacaron que “los gobiernos locales sólo nos ayudaron con temas de seguridad, pero no hubo ningún compromiso verdadero, ningún gobernador de los estados tuvo ese interés por escuchar a las madres, dijo Rubén Figueroa, integrante del Movimiento Migrante Mesoamericano a la agencia noticiosa EFE.



Dallas, Texas.- Al menos dos inmigrantes murieron y otro más resultó herido, luego de que un agente del Departamento de Seguridad Pública de Texas (DPS) disparó desde un helicóptero contra un vehículo en el que viajaban varios indocumentados, se informó hoy.

El DPS confirmó este viernes la muerte de los dos indocumentados en el incidente registrado alrededor de las 15:00 horas del jueves (20:00 GMT) al norte de la comunidad de La Joya, en la frontera con México.

Mientras, el consulado de Guatemala en McAllen ya investiga los hechos pues las víctimas podrían ser originarias de ese país.

En un comunicado, el DPS indicó que se lleva a cabo la investigación correspondiente ya que al parecer el vehículo era seguido por las autoridades al considerarlo como sospechoso de transportar un cargamento con drogas.

El incidente ocurrió cuando un helicóptero de la DPS se sumó a la persecución de un vehículo sospechoso, que era seguido por agentes del Servicio de Parques y Vida Silvestre de Texas.

El vehículo, un pick-up rojo de modelo reciente, “parecía tener una típica carga de droga cubierta” en la parte trasera y “estaba viajando a velocidades imprudentes que ponen en peligro al público”, señaló la corporación.

El DPS admitió que uno de sus patrulleros disparó su arma desde el helicóptero para desactivar al vehículo y que una vez que el automóvil se detuvo se determinó que no transportaba droga, sino a 10 indocumentados, dos de ellos murieron y otro resultó lesionado.

Los agentes del DPS y de la Patrulla Fronteriza detuvieron a los otros siete indocumentados en el lugar y transportaron al lesionado a un hospital de la zona.

El DPS informó que la investigación está siendo conducida por los “Texas Rangers”, el grupo elite de la policía estatal. El agente que disparó el arma está bajo suspensión administrativa, mientras se concluye la averiguación.

Vacíos de poder en México

Al finalizar el gobierno de Felipe Calderón se contablizaron 83,000 asesinatos relacionados con el crimen organizado. en los primerso seis meses del de Enrique Peña Nieto la cifra alcanzó 13,800.

La delincuencia organizada no es un fenomeno imposibel de evitar, ni siquera en México. ¿Qué hacer?¿Qué hacer frente a un poder judicial colapsado con miles de casos irresolutos?

El común denominador de paises fallidos es:

  • sistemas judiciales colapsados,
  • impunidad ante la corrupción,
  • sistemas de control patrimonial fallidos,
  • nulos sistemas de prevención social de los delitos.

En México se violan sistemáticamente 44 de los 58 derechos humanos incluidos en tratados de la Organización de las Naciones Unidas (ONU) que el gobierno federal ha firmado, aseguró Edgardo Buscaglia, presidente del Instituto de Acción Ciudadana para la Justicia y la Democracia AC.

“Entre 70 y 80 por ciento de los expedientes que examinamos poseen detenciones sin motivación legal adecuada, detenciones donde no se leen derechos a los acusados; hay torturas y demás violaciones a los derechos humanos fundamentales”, dijo el experto durante su participación en el Segundo Encuentro de la Red por una Cultura de Paz, que se llevó a cabo en la Universidad del Claustro de Sor Juana.

De acuerdo con una nota de El Universal, Buscaglia precisó que después de que su equipo analizó expedientes judiciales, concluyeron que en México se violan sistemáticamente 44 derechos humanos. “Esto no es una encuesta de percepciones, es un examen de expedientes judiciales”, dijo.

Agregó que los 44 derechos humanos están plasmados en las convenciones que México ha ratificado.

“El 90 por ciento de los casos que resuelve el FBI, son resueltos por colaboración ciudadana que no necesita recompensas. El ciudadano colabora con su Estado, porque ve a su Estado legítimo, y cuando ve que su Estado viola los derechos humanos, no colabora, y no puede combatir no sólo la delincuencia organizada, no puede combatir el robo de vehículos. Eso es algo que se tiene que corregir”, explicó.

La nota de El Universal agrega que no sólo se respetan los derechos humanos por una razón ético-jurídica; “se respetan porque si no el Estado deja de existir, se fragmenta, y ocurren situaciones como los 35 cuerpos arrojados en la calle en Veracruz o la tragedia en el casino Royale de Monterrey.

Para Buscaglia, la debilidad del Estado es un factor causal del tipo de violencia en México.

El gobierno de Enrique Peña Nieto se ha dedicado a fortalecer el tema de prevención social y de aspectos ligados a la capacitación para jóvenes —positivo en el discurso—, pero no ha dicho cuáles son las acciones concretas para lograrlo, considera el experto en seguridad Edgardo Buscaglia, en entrevista con Carmen Aristegui, en CNN en Español.

Buscaglia considera importante tener acciones en cuatro áreas de políticas públicas como un sistema judicial efectivo, desmantelamiento patrimonial en materia no penal, ataque a la corrupción política —operativa administrativa— y prevención social del delito, “en donde estas acciones sean temporalmente definidas, así como sus objetivos”.

Sin embargo, dice el especialista, las acciones y propuestas en el tema de la corrupción no están definidas, “la concentración de poder está en dos secretarias: Hacienda y Gobernación, y que pueden imponer premios y castigos a los actores políticos que quiera seguir operando bajo la corrupción”, afirma el experto en seguridad.

La clase política mexicana es una “clase política fallida” que no ha logrado llegar a acuerdos fundamentales de gran envergadura que introduzcan los cuatro controles básicos para contener a los grupos criminales y que ya se aplican en todos los países, opinó el presidente del Instituto de Acción Ciudadana, Edgardo Buscaglia.

En entrevista con Noticias MVS primera emisión, el experto en asuntos de seguridad, destacó que por la falta de estos controles, la deuda pública del Estado mexicano puede “estarse usando como un mecanismo de lavado de dinero”, a pesar de ello, el país aún está lejos de castigar delitos patrimoniales como la penetración de recursos ilícitos en las campañas políticas, lo que quedó demostrado con la resolución del Tribunal Electoral al declarar infundadas acusaciones de este tipo en contra de la campaña presidencial del PRI.

“Mientras la clase política no defienda este tipo de acuerdos (para evitar la penetración del crimen organizado en el Estado), el modelo de control de la prevención social, y mientras no genere un acuerdo histórico de quiénes van a estar sujetos a estos controles, no habrá resultados. Los 22 tipos de delitos patrimoniales siguen aumentando en México, las políticas han sido fallidas; se necesita cooperación internacional más elevada”, dijo Buscaglia.

A su juicio, en México, la presencia de la delincuencia organizada dentro y fuera de la Policía Federal implica un conflicto armado, lo cual, convierte el tema de combate al crimen organizado en México en un asunto complejo como no se ve en ninguna otra parte del mundo.

Insistió en la necesidad de implementar cuatro tipos de medidas para frenar la penetración de la delincuencia organizada: la implementación de un sistema judicial que vaya de la mano con un esquema penitenciario capaz de generar sentencias; desmantelar las redes de movimientos financieros del crimen organizado, ya que actualmente México es el país número 12 a nivel mundial en movimiento de recursos ilícitos; implementar procesos de indagación patrimonial y, por último, la creación de una política social que dé oportunidades laborales a los jóvenes.

Aun cuando las Fuerzas Armadas en México están disminuyendo su escala de intervención en tareas de seguridad, en los hechos su actuación es similar a la que tuvieron durante el sexenio de Felipe Calderón, “al cubrir vacíos dejados por las autoridades civiles, que aún no logran establecer cómo fortalecer las cuatro capacidades básicas de control de cualquier Estado del planeta”.

Así lo afirmó Edgardo Buscaglia, profesor de la Universidad de Columbia, quien durante varios años ha investigado y dado seguimiento a la realidad de la seguridad en México, y quien durante el sexenio anterior alertó sobre la errónea política de seguridad, el desgaste de la imagen del Ejército y la posible aparición de grupos paramilitares que hoy son una realidad.

En entrevista, explicó que esta situación política conduce a una impotencia de las Fuerzas Armadas, así como a un mayor nivel de exposición de éstas.

El experto consideró que el nivel de participación de las Fuerzas Armadas en diversos territorios del país, en el combate a la delincuencia organizada, las expone cada vez más a ser “blanco” de denuncias nacionales e internacionales por violaciones a derechos humanos, mientras que la elite política y económica continúa lucrando enormemente con la ausencia de los cuatro tipos de control —judiciales, patrimoniales, legislativos y sociales— que debe ejercer un Estado.

“El Ejército y la Marina se enfrentan así, con impotencia, ante un dique político insuperable que atenta contra su función esencial de seguridad nacional, ya que el enemigo es el mismo sistema político que los enmarca y que debilita al Estado mexicano”, sostuvo el experto.

Desde el inicio del actual sexenio se manejó un bajo perfil mediático para las operaciones de las Fuerzas Armadas en contra del narcotráfico y del crimen organizado en el país, pero se mantuvo la colaboración en entrenamiento e inteligencia con el gobierno de Estados Unidos, dijo.

“Por más sofisticada y enormemente costosa que sea la cortina mediática nacional e internacional, estos cuatro vacíos del Estado continúan alimentando el conflicto armado mexicano y promoviendo que estos vacíos de Estado sean cubiertos por actores mafiosos estatales y no estatales que se disputan los poderes políticos locales y en entidades federativas”.

En el actual sexenio, las Fuerzas Armadas han tenido que acudir a municipios donde grupos de autodefensa han surgido, desarmando a las policías municipales o bloqueando accesos carreteros e incluso reteniendo a militares, principalmente en los estados de Guerrero y Michoacán.

Paramilitares a la mexicana

“Los paramilitares mexicanos, no como consecuencia de una guerrilla de izquierda, surgen como el mecanismo derivado de los vacíos: de la debilidad de los Estados y de la falta de Estado en algunas zonas del país. Es otro tipo de raíz que tiene el paramilitarismo mexicano”, explicó el experto.

Estos grupos —agregó— “limpian extrajudicialmente, fuera del Estado de derecho, una región de grupos adversarios, sean políticos, criminales o de la zona. Eso es lo que básicamente está proliferando en el país, ya sea pagado por empresarios o basados en la organización de los propios pobladores, de los ciudadanos”.

En 2012, en México había 167 grupos relacionados con “vigilantismo”, incluyendo paramilitares, que se crearon para defenderse de la inseguridad y de la violencia que se registra en el país, lo que implica una clara señal de un Estado débil, comentó Buscaglia, quien también es presidente del Instituto de Acción Ciudadana.

“Es una señal del Estado débil. En todos los países donde este tipo de grupos surge es un indicador claro y sintomático de la debilidad del Estado. La cifra que presentamos muestra que son una realidad y aún falta por integrar grupos más pequeños”, destacó.

Al respecto, Buscaglia indicó que es una reacción natural de una población y de empresarios que se sienten indefensos, pero el problema es que al final este tipo de grupos termina afectando sus propios ámbitos sociales porque generan más violencia y deterioran aún más el aspecto criminológico.

La policía comunitaria, explicó el catedrático, es diferente, porque es un mecanismo que funciona como prevención del delito, genuino, ciudadano, que utiliza vías legítimas de resolución de disputas, no es ofensiva, no utiliza armas largas, no tiene rangos militares y surge como una demanda de una pequeña población que se ve amenazada.

En Vacíos de poder en México, libro provocador como pocos, el prestigioso analista Edgardo Buscaglia aborda de frente la actual crisis de seguridad y sus manifestaciones de violencia extrema. El autor comienza realizando un detallado diagnóstico de las fallas regulatorias que existen en nuestro país, caracterizado por “una economía formal de plutócratas, disfrazada de economía de mercado, que fomenta el espacio ideal para la captura del tejido social por parte de empresas criminales.”

En ese contexto, Buscaglia subraya que la delincuencia organizada es un fenómeno social económico y no un fenómeno militar que pueda erradicarse por medio de la represión, dejando claro que los problemas que han amenazado al Estado mexicano -acentuados desde el sexenio de Felipe Calderón- necesitan abordarse más allá de una perspectiva policial o judicial.

Para combatir la delincuencia organizada se require una nueva arquitectura institucional de Estado con capacidades de controles preventivos que gocen del apoyo de sus ciudadanos. En esa medida ,advierte el autor, los acuerdos políticos sin base social de consenso, como el “espejismo del Pacto por México”, nunca compensarán la ausencia de controles. Parafortalecer la seguridad humana y dar lugar a un Estado de desarrollo económico y social, es preciso pasar del mero discurso a la instrumentación efectiva.¿Cómo? En esta obra se hallan varias respuestas a tales cuestiones inaplazables.

01 de febrero de 2014•14:13 • actualizado a las 17:54

Monterrey.- Un hombre fue ejecutado y otro más resultó lesionado en un atentado perpetrado por un solitario pistolero, en hechos ocurridos durante la noche del viernes en el primer cuadro de Monterrey.

Una ironía del destino, el cuerpo inerte del hombre de alrededor de 40 años quedó a las afueras del negocio denominado “El Charco de las Ranas”; cuyo propietario así nombró en recuerdo de aquel lugar del Distrito Federal donde fue ejecutado el conductor y comediante Francisco “Paco” Stanley, también a manos de pistoleros al servicio de la delincuencia.

Peritos de la Agencia Estatal de Investigaciones y personal del Servicio Médico Forense se dieron cita en el lugar, vestidos como si fueran a filmar una película de Steven Spielberg sobre una pandemia mundial. Más de ocho elementos con guantes y pinzas, revisando cono precisión milimétrica y exquisito detalle la escena del crimen, en un calle sucia a cielo abierto y con alto tráfico peatonal. La faramalla un signo inequívoco y patente de que el crimen quedara impune.

El ataque a balazos fue reportado al filo de las 21:00 horas en el cruce de la avenida Colón y Jiménez, de la colonia Sarabia, uno de los sectores más conflictivos del primer cuadro de la ciudad, debido a la proliferación de giros negros y la presencia de comercio informal, que sirve como fachada a narcomenudistas.

De acuerdo con la versión de testigos -decenas de personas transitaban en ese momento debido a la proximidad con la estación del Metro Cuauhtémoc- la víctima caminaba por la acera cuando fue abordado por un pistolero, quien sacó su arma para ultimarlo.

El occiso trató de evadirse corriendo unos metros, pero las balas fueron más rápidas e hicieron blanco en su humanidad, desplomándose frente al negocio antes mencionado y a unos pasos del sitio donde fuese ejecutado un taquero en diciembre del 2012.

En la ejecución resultó lesionado una persona identificada como Juan Carlos de León, quien tuvo la mala fortuna de cruzarse en el camino entre víctima y victimario, ya que se encontraba con su familia en el exterior de una tienda Oxxo a escasos metros de la ejecución, siendo herido por uno de los proyectiles por lo que recibió atención de urgencia y fue trasladado al Hospital Universitario, donde se reporta su estado de salud como estable.

Los testigos ofrecieron una descripción del delincuente como un joven con el cabello a rapa, con vestimenta tipo pandillero, quien se presume habría descendido de un vehículo de alquiler, ya que la mayoría coincide en haberlo visto abordando un vehículo tipo taxi para huir de la escena por la avenida Colón.

La zona fue sitiada por autoridades Ministerial, Fuerza Civil y Policía de Monterrey, los cuales hicieron un rastreo de la zona no logrando ubicar al vehículo y al agresor.

Peritos advirtieron las huellas de los proyectiles en el cuerpo de la víctima, pero no lograron ubicar cartuchos percutidos por lo que presumen que el atacante utilizó un revólver para cometer el homicidio.

El cuerpo aún no ha sido reclamado en el Servicio Médico Forense, quienes se encuentran a la expectativa para la identificación de la víctima.

Al finalizar el gobierno de Felipe Calderón se contablizaron 83,000 asesinatos relacionados con el crimen organizado. en los primerso seis meses del de Enrique Peña Nieto la cifra alcanzó 13,800.

La delincuencia organizada no es un fenomeno imposibel de evitar, ni siquera en México. ¿Qué hacer?¿Qué hacer frente a un poder judicial colapsado con miles de casos irresolutos?

El común denominador de paises fallidos es:

  • sistemas judiciales colapsados,
  • impunidad ante la corrupción,
  • sistemas de control patrimonial fallidos,
  • nulos sistemas de prevención social de los delitos.

En México se violan sistemáticamente 44 de los 58 derechos humanos incluidos en tratados de la Organización de las Naciones Unidas (ONU) que el gobierno federal ha firmado, aseguró Edgardo Buscaglia, presidente del Instituto de Acción Ciudadana para la Justicia y la Democracia AC.

“Entre 70 y 80 por ciento de los expedientes que examinamos poseen detenciones sin motivación legal adecuada, detenciones donde no se leen derechos a los acusados; hay torturas y demás violaciones a los derechos humanos fundamentales”, dijo el experto durante su participación en el Segundo Encuentro de la Red por una Cultura de Paz, que se llevó a cabo en la Universidad del Claustro de Sor Juana.

De acuerdo con una nota de El Universal, Buscaglia precisó que después de que su equipo analizó expedientes judiciales, concluyeron que en México se violan sistemáticamente 44 derechos humanos. “Esto no es una encuesta de percepciones, es un examen de expedientes judiciales”, dijo.

Agregó que los 44 derechos humanos están plasmados en las convenciones que México ha ratificado.

“El 90 por ciento de los casos que resuelve el FBI, son resueltos por colaboración ciudadana que no necesita recompensas. El ciudadano colabora con su Estado, porque ve a su Estado legítimo, y cuando ve que su Estado viola los derechos humanos, no colabora, y no puede combatir no sólo la delincuencia organizada, no puede combatir el robo de vehículos. Eso es algo que se tiene que corregir”, explicó.

La nota de El Universal agrega que no sólo se respetan los derechos humanos por una razón ético-jurídica; “se respetan porque si no el Estado deja de existir, se fragmenta, y ocurren situaciones como los 35 cuerpos arrojados en la calle en Veracruz o la tragedia en el casino Royale de Monterrey.

Para Buscaglia, la debilidad del Estado es un factor causal del tipo de violencia en México.

El gobierno de Enrique Peña Nieto se ha dedicado a fortalecer el tema de prevención social y de aspectos ligados a la capacitación para jóvenes —positivo en el discurso—, pero no ha dicho cuáles son las acciones concretas para lograrlo, considera el experto en seguridad Edgardo Buscaglia, en entrevista con Carmen Aristegui, en CNN en Español.

Buscaglia considera importante tener acciones en cuatro áreas de políticas públicas como un sistema judicial efectivo, desmantelamiento patrimonial en materia no penal, ataque a la corrupción política —operativa administrativa— y prevención social del delito, “en donde estas acciones sean temporalmente definidas, así como sus objetivos”.

Sin embargo, dice el especialista, las acciones y propuestas en el tema de la corrupción no están definidas, “la concentración de poder está en dos secretarias: Hacienda y Gobernación, y que pueden imponer premios y castigos a los actores políticos que quiera seguir operando bajo la corrupción”, afirma el experto en seguridad.

La clase política mexicana es una “clase política fallida” que no ha logrado llegar a acuerdos fundamentales de gran envergadura que introduzcan los cuatro controles básicos para contener a los grupos criminales y que ya se aplican en todos los países, opinó el presidente del Instituto de Acción Ciudadana, Edgardo Buscaglia.

En entrevista con Noticias MVS primera emisión, el experto en asuntos de seguridad, destacó que por la falta de estos controles, la deuda pública del Estado mexicano puede “estarse usando como un mecanismo de lavado de dinero”, a pesar de ello, el país aún está lejos de castigar delitos patrimoniales como la penetración de recursos ilícitos en las campañas políticas, lo que quedó demostrado con la resolución del Tribunal Electoral al declarar infundadas acusaciones de este tipo en contra de la campaña presidencial del PRI.

“Mientras la clase política no defienda este tipo de acuerdos (para evitar la penetración del crimen organizado en el Estado), el modelo de control de la prevención social, y mientras no genere un acuerdo histórico de quiénes van a estar sujetos a estos controles, no habrá resultados. Los 22 tipos de delitos patrimoniales siguen aumentando en México, las políticas han sido fallidas; se necesita cooperación internacional más elevada”, dijo Buscaglia.

A su juicio, en México, la presencia de la delincuencia organizada dentro y fuera de la Policía Federal implica un conflicto armado, lo cual, convierte el tema de combate al crimen organizado en México en un asunto complejo como no se ve en ninguna otra parte del mundo.

Insistió en la necesidad de implementar cuatro tipos de medidas para frenar la penetración de la delincuencia organizada: la implementación de un sistema judicial que vaya de la mano con un esquema penitenciario capaz de generar sentencias; desmantelar las redes de movimientos financieros del crimen organizado, ya que actualmente México es el país número 12 a nivel mundial en movimiento de recursos ilícitos; implementar procesos de indagación patrimonial y, por último, la creación de una política social que dé oportunidades laborales a los jóvenes.

Aun cuando las Fuerzas Armadas en México están disminuyendo su escala de intervención en tareas de seguridad, en los hechos su actuación es similar a la que tuvieron durante el sexenio de Felipe Calderón, “al cubrir vacíos dejados por las autoridades civiles, que aún no logran establecer cómo fortalecer las cuatro capacidades básicas de control de cualquier Estado del planeta”.

Así lo afirmó Edgardo Buscaglia, profesor de la Universidad de Columbia, quien durante varios años ha investigado y dado seguimiento a la realidad de la seguridad en México, y quien durante el sexenio anterior alertó sobre la errónea política de seguridad, el desgaste de la imagen del Ejército y la posible aparición de grupos paramilitares que hoy son una realidad.

En entrevista, explicó que esta situación política conduce a una impotencia de las Fuerzas Armadas, así como a un mayor nivel de exposición de éstas.

El experto consideró que el nivel de participación de las Fuerzas Armadas en diversos territorios del país, en el combate a la delincuencia organizada, las expone cada vez más a ser “blanco” de denuncias nacionales e internacionales por violaciones a derechos humanos, mientras que la elite política y económica continúa lucrando enormemente con la ausencia de los cuatro tipos de control —judiciales, patrimoniales, legislativos y sociales— que debe ejercer un Estado.

“El Ejército y la Marina se enfrentan así, con impotencia, ante un dique político insuperable que atenta contra su función esencial de seguridad nacional, ya que el enemigo es el mismo sistema político que los enmarca y que debilita al Estado mexicano”, sostuvo el experto.

Desde el inicio del actual sexenio se manejó un bajo perfil mediático para las operaciones de las Fuerzas Armadas en contra del narcotráfico y del crimen organizado en el país, pero se mantuvo la colaboración en entrenamiento e inteligencia con el gobierno de Estados Unidos, dijo.

“Por más sofisticada y enormemente costosa que sea la cortina mediática nacional e internacional, estos cuatro vacíos del Estado continúan alimentando el conflicto armado mexicano y promoviendo que estos vacíos de Estado sean cubiertos por actores mafiosos estatales y no estatales que se disputan los poderes políticos locales y en entidades federativas”.

En el actual sexenio, las Fuerzas Armadas han tenido que acudir a municipios donde grupos de autodefensa han surgido, desarmando a las policías municipales o bloqueando accesos carreteros e incluso reteniendo a militares, principalmente en los estados de Guerrero y Michoacán.

Paramilitares a la mexicana

“Los paramilitares mexicanos, no como consecuencia de una guerrilla de izquierda, surgen como el mecanismo derivado de los vacíos: de la debilidad de los Estados y de la falta de Estado en algunas zonas del país. Es otro tipo de raíz que tiene el paramilitarismo mexicano”, explicó el experto.

Estos grupos —agregó— “limpian extrajudicialmente, fuera del Estado de derecho, una región de grupos adversarios, sean políticos, criminales o de la zona. Eso es lo que básicamente está proliferando en el país, ya sea pagado por empresarios o basados en la organización de los propios pobladores, de los ciudadanos”.

En 2012, en México había 167 grupos relacionados con “vigilantismo”, incluyendo paramilitares, que se crearon para defenderse de la inseguridad y de la violencia que se registra en el país, lo que implica una clara señal de un Estado débil, comentó Buscaglia, quien también es presidente del Instituto de Acción Ciudadana.

“Es una señal del Estado débil. En todos los países donde este tipo de grupos surge es un indicador claro y sintomático de la debilidad del Estado. La cifra que presentamos muestra que son una realidad y aún falta por integrar grupos más pequeños”, destacó.

Al respecto, Buscaglia indicó que es una reacción natural de una población y de empresarios que se sienten indefensos, pero el problema es que al final este tipo de grupos termina afectando sus propios ámbitos sociales porque generan más violencia y deterioran aún más el aspecto criminológico.

La policía comunitaria, explicó el catedrático, es diferente, porque es un mecanismo que funciona como prevención del delito, genuino, ciudadano, que utiliza vías legítimas de resolución de disputas, no es ofensiva, no utiliza armas largas, no tiene rangos militares y surge como una demanda de una pequeña población que se ve amenazada.

En Vacíos de poder en México, libro provocador como pocos, el prestigioso analista Edgardo Buscaglia aborda de frente la actual crisis de seguridad y sus manifestaciones de violencia extrema. El autor comienza realizando un detallado diagnóstico de las fallas regulatorias que existen en nuestro país, caracterizado por “una economía formal de plutócratas, disfrazada de economía de mercado, que fomenta el espacio ideal para la captura del tejido social por parte de empresas criminales.”

En ese contexto, Buscaglia subraya que la delincuencia organizada es un fenómeno social económico y no un fenómeno militar que pueda erradicarse por medio de la represión, dejando claro que los problemas que han amenazado al Estado mexicano -acentuados desde el sexenio de Felipe Calderón- necesitan abordarse más allá de una perspectiva policial o judicial.

Para combatir la delincuencia organizada se require una nueva arquitectura institucional de Estado con capacidades de controles preventivos que gocen del apoyo de sus ciudadanos. En esa medida ,advierte el autor, los acuerdos políticos sin base social de consenso, como el “espejismo del Pacto por México”, nunca compensarán la ausencia de controles. Parafortalecer la seguridad humana y dar lugar a un Estado de desarrollo económico y social, es preciso pasar del mero discurso a la instrumentación efectiva.¿Cómo? En esta obra se hallan varias respuestas a tales cuestiones inaplazables.

01 de febrero de 2014•14:13 • actualizado a las 17:54

Monterrey.- Un hombre fue ejecutado y otro más resultó lesionado en un atentado perpetrado por un solitario pistolero, en hechos ocurridos durante la noche del viernes en el primer cuadro de Monterrey.

Una ironía del destino, el cuerpo inerte del hombre de alrededor de 40 años quedó a las afueras del negocio denominado “El Charco de las Ranas”; cuyo propietario así nombró en recuerdo de aquel lugar del Distrito Federal donde fue ejecutado el conductor y comediante Francisco “Paco” Stanley, también a manos de pistoleros al servicio de la delincuencia.

Peritos de la Agencia Estatal de Investigaciones y personal del Servicio Médico Forense se dieron cita en el lugar, vestidos como si fueran a filmar una película de Steven Spielberg sobre una pandemia mundial. Más de ocho elementos con guantes y pinzas, revisando cono precisión milimétrica y exquisito detalle la escena del crimen, en un calle sucia a cielo abierto y con alto tráfico peatonal. La faramalla un signo inequívoco y patente de que el crimen quedara impune.

El ataque a balazos fue reportado al filo de las 21:00 horas en el cruce de la avenida Colón y Jiménez, de la colonia Sarabia, uno de los sectores más conflictivos del primer cuadro de la ciudad, debido a la proliferación de giros negros y la presencia de comercio informal, que sirve como fachada a narcomenudistas.

De acuerdo con la versión de testigos -decenas de personas transitaban en ese momento debido a la proximidad con la estación del Metro Cuauhtémoc- la víctima caminaba por la acera cuando fue abordado por un pistolero, quien sacó su arma para ultimarlo.

El occiso trató de evadirse corriendo unos metros, pero las balas fueron más rápidas e hicieron blanco en su humanidad, desplomándose frente al negocio antes mencionado y a unos pasos del sitio donde fuese ejecutado un taquero en diciembre del 2012.

En la ejecución resultó lesionado una persona identificada como Juan Carlos de León, quien tuvo la mala fortuna de cruzarse en el camino entre víctima y victimario, ya que se encontraba con su familia en el exterior de una tienda Oxxo a escasos metros de la ejecución, siendo herido por uno de los proyectiles por lo que recibió atención de urgencia y fue trasladado al Hospital Universitario, donde se reporta su estado de salud como estable.

Los testigos ofrecieron una descripción del delincuente como un joven con el cabello a rapa, con vestimenta tipo pandillero, quien se presume habría descendido de un vehículo de alquiler, ya que la mayoría coincide en haberlo visto abordando un vehículo tipo taxi para huir de la escena por la avenida Colón.

La zona fue sitiada por autoridades Ministerial, Fuerza Civil y Policía de Monterrey, los cuales hicieron un rastreo de la zona no logrando ubicar al vehículo y al agresor.

Peritos advirtieron las huellas de los proyectiles en el cuerpo de la víctima, pero no lograron ubicar cartuchos percutidos por lo que presumen que el atacante utilizó un revólver para cometer el homicidio.

El cuerpo aún no ha sido reclamado en el Servicio Médico Forense, quienes se encuentran a la expectativa para la identificación de la víctima.

Mexican Drug War

Nov 22nd 2012, 16:34 by Economist.com

Mexican states compared with entire countries’ body counts, murder rates and populations

MEXICO’S murder rate has doubled over the past five years, to nearly 19 per 100,000 people per year. But what does that really mean? To give an idea of how safe or dangerous the country’s various states are, we have compared their crime statistics with those of whole countries. Visitors can relax in Yucatán, the safest state, which has about the same murder rate as Finland. Tlaxcala, not far from Mexico City, is about as safe as the United States. At the other end of the spectrum Chihuahua, the most violent state, has a murder rate equivalent to El Salvador, one of the most violent countries in the world. Another way of looking at the data is to compare the gross totals. The state of San Luis Potosí, for instance, has seen as many murders in the past year as all of Spain, despite having a population of just 2.6m.


BY NICHOLAS CASEY

MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s president-elect Enrique Peña Nieto, fresh off his weekend election victory, said Tuesday he plans to continue President Felipe Calderón’s fight against the country’s drug gangs, but outlined a long-term strategy to place more of the battle in the hands of civilians rather than the military.

In a wide-ranging interview in the capital, Mr. Peña Nieto, of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, praised much of Mr. Calderón’s strategy against organized crime, including the creation of a federal police force and growing cooperation with the U.S.


President Barack Obama telephoned Mexican President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto to congratulate him on his victory in last weekend’s elections, the White House said in a statement Monday. While the release listed several topics that the two men discussed, it made no explicit mention of the two countries’ fitful efforts to combat ultra-violent drug cartels.

Obama “reiterated his commitment to working in partnership with Mexico, and looks forward to advancing common goals, including promoting democracy, economic prosperity, and security in the region and around the globe, in the coming years,” according to the White House statement.

Peña Nieto’s victory brought the Institutional Revolutionary Party, which governed Mexico for decades, back to power. He has pledged to overhaul his country’s energy, labor and tax systems, Reuters reported..

“The two leaders reaffirmed the close bilateral partnership the United States and Mexico enjoy based on mutual respect, shared responsibility, and the deep connections between our people,” according to the statement. Obama also “congratulated the Mexican people who have once again demonstrated their commitment to democratic values through a free, fair, and transparent election process.”

Peña Nieto won Sunday’s election with 38 percent of the vote, according to early returns. That gave him a lead of roughly 7 percentage points over his nearest rival, leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador,  according to the Associated Press.

Obama has faced sharp Republican criticism over the government’s Fast and Furious operation, which aimed to track the flow of firearms from American gun sellers, through straw buyers, into the hands of the cartels. The Republican-led House of Representatives voted last week to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for refusing to hand over Justice Department documents tied to the operation.


MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican opposition candidate Enrique Pena Nieto’s campaign team claimed victory in the country’s presidential election on Sunday after exit polls showed him winning by a comfortable margin.

Pena Nieto, 45, of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), led by between 8 and 11 percentage points in exit polls published by three of Mexico’s main television networks after voting ended on Sunday night.
Shortly afterward his campaign manager, Luis Videgaray, declared victory.

“It is a resounding triumph,” Videgaray told Milenio television, adding that he was hopeful the PRI would have a majority in the Senate and possibly in the lower house of Congress, too.

The PRI, which governed Mexico for 71 years until losing power in 2000, has staged a comeback behind the handsome Pena Nieto, who has pledged to open state-owned oil monopoly Pemex to foreign investors, raise tax revenue and liberalize the labor market.

The exit polls showed him winning around 40 percent of the vote. Leftist rival Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was in second place with Josefina Vazquez Mota of the ruling National Action Party, or PAN, trailing in third.

“I recognize that the trend up to this point is not in my favor,” said Vazquez Mota, whose campaign was dragged down by a brutal war with drug cartels and the government’s patchy economic record.
Preliminary official results were due in the next few hours.

“It’s time for the PRI to return. They’re the only ones who know how to govern,” said Candelaria Puc, 70, as she voted in the beach resort of Cancun. “The PRI is tough, but they won’t let the drug violence get out of control.”

Others feared a return to the worst years of PRI rule and put Pena Nieto’s big lead down to his cozy relationship with Televisa, Mexico’s top broadcaster.

“It’s the same party as ever and the people who vote for him (Pena Nieto) believe they are going to live happily ever after like in the soap operas,” Humberto Parra, a systems engineer, said as he went to vote in Mexico City.

By the time it lost to the PAN in 2000, the PRI had a reputation for widespread corruption, electoral fraud and authoritarianism.

The PRI was in disarray by 2006, when its presidential candidate came in a distant third, but it has rebounded since then and Pena Nieto gave it a new face.

He is promising to restore security to cities and towns ravaged by the drug war and also plans to reform Pemex, a proposal once considered political suicide.

Mexicans are fiercely protective of Pemex, but the PRI, which nationalized oil production in 1938, could be the one party able to liberalize the energy industry.

The PRI laid the foundations of the modern state with a nimble blend of politics and patronage that allowed it to appeal to labor unions and captains of industry at the same time.
Mexicans eventually tired of heavy-handedness that stifled dissent, rewarded loyalists and allowed widespread corruption.

(Additional reporting by Miguel Angel Gutierrez, Ana Isabel Martinez, Pablo Garibian; Editing by Dave Graham and Kieran Murray and Christopher Wilson)


Mexico’s Next President Won’t Slow The Drug War

By Robert Beckhusen

At this point, there’s little doubt who is likely to win Mexico’s presidential election on Sunday. That would be Enrique Peña Nieto, who polls show leading with double-digits over his rival candidates. He’s also calling for a (subtle) shift in the fight against the cartels: don’t bother as much with stopping drugs and taking down drug lords, but focus on stopping violence and kidnapping. But as far as big changes go, don’t expect much if Peña Nieto wins, at least not soon.

First, the little things. Last week, Pieña Nieto recruited Colombian General Oscar Naranjo — a veteran of the war against the notorious drug lord Pablo Escobar — as his top security adviser. Peña Nieto wants to boost Mexico’s Federal Police, and he’s for creating a new national paramilitary police force to fight the cartels.  His campaign has also been “highly solicitous” of the United States, notes Patrick Corcoran ofInSight, an organized crime monitoring group. This could mean a bigger U.S. role. Naranjo is also reportedly close to U.S. officials.
This is while the cartels still exercise draconian rule over cities throughout many parts of the country, especially along the border. Ciudad Juárez, which came to define Mexico’s drug violence when viewed from outside the country, has seen a drop in murders to 2007 levels, Corcoran adds. But other cities, like Nuevo Laredo, experienced lower and lower levels of violence only for gangland killings to spark anew. The cartels have also spread to new areas.
“If you noticed, none of the presidential candidates broke openly with [outgoing President Felipe Calderón’s] strategy — the farthest they went was to criticize the level of violence,” César Martinez Espinosa, a doctoral candidate at the University of Texas and a specialist in Mexican national security issues, writes in an e-mail. ”This is because they recognized that a majority of people (outside of Mexico City) approves Calderón’s fight against the cartels (some polls have tracked that), especially the participation of the military in it and because they might not have that much room to maneuver once they are in power.”
Reducing violence by legalizing drugs? Not likely in the least. A darker suggestion floated as a possibility in press reports is some kind of deal with the cartels, but Pieña Nieto has ruled out negotiating a truce.
The reason why a truce is brought up: Peña Nieto’s political party, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (or PRI), formerly maintained uninterrupted single-party rule for most of the 20th century. But when it lost power 12 years ago, it also lost a patronage system between regional party bosses and the cartels. This system meant drugs were allowed to flow relatively freely, provided physical disputes between the cartels didn’t get out of hand. But losing a (note: corrupt) system of checks and balances, beef between cartels escalated.
Nor is it likely that such a deal could be made today. In some states that maintained PRI rule, these networks were maintained but still failed to stop the surge in violence. Some of the state-level politicians with ties to the cartels are now being purged. In any case, the PRI will be governing a different Mexico: one in which corruption is still a major problem, but in which a single party is not able to maintain control over the entire governing apparatus. Another problem is that today’s cartels are smaller, a lot more numerous and increasingly decentralized. With so many cartels operating in Mexico today, who do you cut a deal with?
“Should he win, Peña Nieto will surely seek some cosmetic changes, and he may push the philosophy underlying Mexico’s crime strategy in a new direction. But the obstacles to a different approach are enormous; as a result, for better or worse, the shifts are likely to be marginal,” notes Corcoran.
Another option is to eliminate some local police forces and “consolidate them into stronger state forces,” says Martinez. Elsewhere, the new president will have to keep up economic growth and push reforms through the courts and a chaotic, badly-run prison system. But for the time being, and for whoever wins, the war with the cartels will continue.


Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera (born April 4, 1957)[2] is a fugitive Mexican drug lord who heads the world’s largest and most powerful drug trafficking organization, the Sinaloa Cartel,[5] an organization named after the Mexican Pacific coast state of Sinaloa where it was initially formed. Known as “El Chapo Guzmán” (“Shorty Guzmán“) for his 1.68 m (5 ft 6 in) stature, he became Mexico’s top drug kingpin in 2003 after the arrest of his rival Osiel Cárdenas of the Gulf Cartel, and is now considered “The most powerful drug trafficker in the world,” by the United States Department of the Treasury.[6][7]
Guzmán Loera has been ranked by Forbes magazine as one of the most powerful people in the world every year since 2009; ranking 41st, 60th and 55th respectively.[8][9] He was also listed by Forbes as the 10th richest man in Mexico (1,140th in the world) in 2011.[10][11] Forbes also calls him the “biggest druglord of all time”,[12] and the DEA strongly believes he has surpassed the influence and reach of Pablo Escobar, and now considers him “the godfather of the drug world.”[13]
Guzman Loera’s Sinaloa Cartel smuggles multi-ton cocaine shipments from Colombia through Mexico to the United States,[1] and has distribution cells throughout the U.S.[1] The organization has also been involved in the production, smuggling and distribution of Mexican methamphetamine,marijuana, and heroin. The U.S. offers a $5 million USD reward for information leading to his capture. The Mexican government offers a reward of 30 million pesos for such information.


Cocaine Incorporated

 
 
By PATRICK RADDEN KEEFE

Published: June 15, 2012
One afternoon last August, at a hospital on the outskirts of Los Angeles, a former beauty queen named Emma Coronel gave birth to a pair of heiresses. The twins, who were delivered at 3:50 and 3:51, respectively, stand to inherit some share of a fortune that Forbes estimates is worth a billion dollars. Coronel’s husband, who was not present for the birth, is a legendary tycoon who overcame a penurious rural childhood to establish a wildly successful multinational business. If Coronel elected to leave the entry for “Father” on the birth certificates blank, it was not because of any dispute over patrimony. More likely, she was just skittish about the fact that her husband, Joaquín Guzmán, is the C.E.O. of Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel, a man the Treasury Department recently described as the world’s most powerful drug trafficker. Guzmán’s organization is responsible for as much as half of the illegal narcotics imported into the United States from Mexico each year; he may well be the most-wanted criminal in this post-Bin Laden world. But his bride is a U.S. citizen with no charges against her. So authorities could only watch as she bundled up her daughters and slipped back across the border to introduce them to their dad.
How the Sinaloa Cartel Smuggles Drugs Across Borders

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Known as El Chapo for his short, stocky frame, Guzmán is 55, which in narco-years is about 150. He is a quasi-mythical figure in Mexico, the subject of countless ballads, who has outlived enemies and accomplices alike, defying the implicit bargain of a life in the drug trade: that careers are glittering but brief and always terminate in prison or the grave. When Pablo Escobar was Chapo’s age, he had been dead for more than a decade. In fact, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration, Chapo sells more drugs today than Escobar did at the height of his career. To some extent, this success is easily explained: as Hillary Clinton acknowledged several years ago, America’s “insatiable demand for illegal drugs” is what drives the clandestine industry. It’s no accident that the world’s biggest supplier of narcotics and the world’s biggest consumer of narcotics just happen to be neighbors. “Poor Mexico,” its former president Porfirio Díaz is said to have remarked. “So far from God and so close to the United States.”
The Sinaloa cartel can buy a kilo of cocaine in the highlands of Colombia or Peru for around $2,000, then watch it accrue value as it makes its way to market. In Mexico, that kilo fetches more than $10,000. Jump the border to the United States, and it could sell wholesale for $30,000. Break it down into grams to distribute retail, and that same kilo sells for upward of $100,000 — more than its weight in gold. And that’s just cocaine. Alone among the Mexican cartels, Sinaloa is both diversified and vertically integrated, producing and exporting marijuana, heroin and methamphetamine as well.
Estimating the precise scale of Chapo’s empire is tricky, however. Statistics on underground economies are inherently speculative: cartels don’t make annual disclosures, and no auditor examines their books. Instead, we’re left with back-of-the-envelope extrapolations based on conjectural data, much of it supplied by government agencies that may have bureaucratic incentives to overplay the problem.
So in a spirit of empirical humility, we shouldn’t accept as gospel the estimate, from the Justice Department, that Colombian and Mexican cartels reap $18 billion to $39 billion from drug sales in the United States each year. (That range alone should give you pause.) Still, even if you take the lowest available numbers, Sinaloa emerges as a titanic player in the global black market. In the sober reckoning of the RAND Corporation, for instance, the gross revenue that all Mexican cartels derive from exporting drugs to the United States amounts to only $6.6 billion. By most estimates, though, Sinaloa has achieved a market share of at least 40 percent and perhaps as much as 60 percent, which means that Chapo Guzmán’s organization would appear to enjoy annual revenues of some $3 billion — comparable in terms of earnings to Netflix or, for that matter, to Facebook.
The drug war in Mexico has claimed more than 50,000 lives since 2006. But what tends to get lost amid coverage of this epic bloodletting is just how effective the drug business has become. A close study of the Sinaloa cartel, based on thousands of pages of trial records and dozens of interviews with convicted drug traffickers and current and former officials in Mexico and the United States, reveals an operation that is global (it is active in more than a dozen countries) yet also very nimble and, above all, staggeringly complex. Sinaloa didn’t merely survive the recession — it has thrived in recent years. And after prevailing in some recent mass-casualty clashes, it now controls more territory along the border than ever.
“Chapo always talks about the drug business, wherever he is,” one erstwhile confidant told a jury several years ago, describing a driven, even obsessive entrepreneur with a proclivity for micromanagement. From the remote mountain redoubt where he is believed to be hiding, surrounded at all times by a battery of gunmen, Chapo oversees a logistical network that is as sophisticated, in some ways, as that of Amazon or U.P.S. — doubly sophisticated, when you think about it, because traffickers must move both their product and their profits in secret, and constantly maneuver to avoid death or arrest. As a mirror image of a legal commodities business, the Sinaloa cartel brings to mind that old line about Ginger Rogers doing all the same moves as Fred Astaire, only backward and in heels. In its longevity, profitability and scope, it might be the most successful criminal enterprise in history.
The state of Sinaloa, from which the cartel derives its name, lies wedged between the Sierra Madre Occidental and Mexico’s west coast. Sun-blasted and remote, Sinaloa is the Sicily of Mexico, both cradle and refuge of violent men, and the ancestral land of many of the country’s most notorious traffickers. Chapo was born in a village called La Tuna, in the foothills of the Sierra, in 1957. His formal education ended in third grade, and as an adult, he has reportedly struggled to read and write, prevailing upon a ghostwriter, at one point, to compose letters to his mistress. Little is known about Chapo’s early years, but by the 1980s, he joined the Guadalajara cartel, which was run by a former policeman known as El Padrino — the Godfather.
For decades, Mexican smugglers had exported homegrown marijuana and heroin to the United States. But as the Colombian cocaine boom gathered momentum in the 1980s and U.S. law enforcement began patrolling the Caribbean, the Colombians went in search of an alternate route to the United States and discovered one in Mexico. Initially, Mexican traffickers, like a pudgy 25-year-old airplane pilot named Miguel Angel Martínez, acted as independent contractors who were paid a fee by the Colombians to move their cargo. In 1986, the Guadalajara cartel dispatched Martínez to the Colombian port of Barranquilla, in the hope that someone might commission him to fly drugs up to Mexico. But Martínez couldn’t find any takers and ended up languishing in Colombia for months, worrying that he had blown his big opportunity with the cartel. Eventually, he caught a commercial flight back to Mexico, and shortly thereafter, he was summoned to a meeting with Chapo, who was by then an underboss in the cartel. “You were very well behaved in Colombia,” Chapo told him, according to subsequent testimony. He seemed impressed by Martínez’s patience in waiting for an assignment.
Having passed this test, Martínez started working for Chapo as a kind of air traffic controller, negotiating directly with the Cali and Medellín cartels, then guiding their cocaine flights from South America to secret runways in barren stretches of Mexico. Martínez knew U.S. agents were monitoring his radio communications, so rather than say a word, he would whistle — a signal to the pilots that they were cleared for takeoff.
With the decline of the Caribbean route, the Colombians started paying Mexican smugglers not in cash but in cocaine. More than any other factor, it was this transition that realigned the power dynamics along the narcotics supply chain in the Americas, because it allowed the Mexicans to stop serving as logistical middlemen and invest in their own drugs instead. In 1986, Martínez couldn’t land a gig as a lowly courier in Barranquilla. Not five years later, he was marshaling hundreds of flights laden with cocaine for Chapo. “Sometimes we would get five planes a night,” he remembered. “Sometimes 16.” Now it was the Colombians who went hat in hand to Chapo, looking not to hire him to move their product but to sell it to him outright. They would tip Martínez $25,000 just to get an audience with the man.
The young pilot became a gatekeeper to the ascendant kingpin, fielding his phone calls and accompanying him on foreign trips. There’s a vaudevillian goofiness to nicknames in Mexico, and the stout Martínez was known in the cartel as El Gordo. He and Chapo — Fatty and Shorty — made quite a pair. “Japan, Hong Kong, India, all of Europe,” Martínez recalled in testimony. Chapo owned a fleet of Learjets, and together, they saw “the whole world.” They both used cocaine as well, a habit that Chapo would eventually give up. When a lawyer inquired, years later, whether he had been Chapo’s right-hand man, Martínez replied that he might have been, but that Guzmán had five left hands and five right hands. “He’s an octopus, Chapo Guzmán,” he said. For his efforts, Martínez was paid a million dollars a year, in a single annual installment: “In cash, in a suitcase, each December.” When Martínez’s son was born, Chapo asked to serve as godfather.
In 1989, Chapo’s mentor, El Padrino, was captured by Mexican authorities, and the remaining members of the Guadalajara cartel assembled in Acapulco to determine which smuggling route each capo would inherit. According to Ioan Grillo’s book, “El Narco,” the meeting was ostensibly a gathering of friends. But the shards of El Padrino’s organization would become the basis for the Tijuana, Juárez and Sinaloa cartels, and these onetime colleagues would soon become antagonists in a cycle of bloody turf wars that continues to this day.
“Drug cartel,” it turns out, is a whopper of a misnomer; neither the Mexicans nor the Colombians ever colluded to fix prices or supply. “I wish they were cartels,” Arturo Sarukhán, Mexico’s ambassador in Washington, told me. “If they were, they wouldn’t be fighting and driving up the violence.”
At first, Chapo’s organization controlled a single smuggling route, through western Mexico into Arizona. But by 1990, it was moving three tons of cocaine each month over the border, and from there, to Los Angeles. The Sinaloa has always distinguished itself by the eclectic means it uses to transport drugs. Working with Colombian suppliers, cartel operatives moved cocaine into Mexico in small private aircraft and in baggage smuggled on commercial flights and eventually on their own 747s, which they could load with as much as 13 tons of cocaine. They used container ships and fishing vessels and go-fast boats and submarines — crude semi-submersibles at first, then fully submersible subs, conceived by engineers and constructed under the canopy of the Amazon, then floated downriver in pieces and assembled at the coastline. These vessels can cost more than a million dollars, but to the smugglers, they are effectively disposable. In the event of an interception by the Coast Guard, someone onboard pulls a lever that floods the interior so that the evidence sinks; only the crew is left bobbing in the water, waiting to be picked up by the authorities.
Moving cocaine is a capital-intensive business, but the cartel subsidizes these investments with a ready source of easy income: marijuana. Cannabis is often described as the “cash crop” of Mexican cartels because it grows abundantly in the Sierras and requires no processing. But it’s bulkier than cocaine, and smellier, which makes it difficult to conceal. So marijuana tends to cross the border far from official ports of entry. The cartel makes sandbag bridges to ford the Colorado River and sends buggies loaded with weed bouncing over the Imperial Sand Dunes into California. Michael Braun, the former chief of operations for the D.E.A., told me a story about the construction of a high-tech fence along a stretch of border in Arizona. “They erect this fence,” he said, “only to go out there a few days later and discover that these guys have a catapult, and they’re flinging hundred-pound bales of marijuana over to the other side.” He paused and looked at me for a second. “A catapult,” he repeated. “We’ve got the best fence money can buy, and they counter us with a 2,500-year-old technology.”
Improvisation is a trafficker’s greatest asset, and in recent years, Sinaloa has devised an even more efficient solution to the perennial challenge of getting marijuana across the border. Grow it here. Several years ago, a hunter was trekking through the remote North Woods of Wisconsin when he stumbled upon a vast irrigated grow site, tended by a dozen Mexican farmers armed with AK-47’s. According to the D.E.A., it was a Sinaloa pot farm, established on U.S. National Forest land to supply the market in Chicago.
Heroin is easier to smuggle but difficult to produce, and as detailed in court documents, Chapo is particularly proud of his organization’s work with the drug. He personally negotiates shipments to the United States and stands by its quality, which is normally 94 percent pure. “The value-to-weight ratio of heroin is better than any other drug,” says Alejandro Hope, who until recently was a senior officer at Cisen, Mexico’s equivalent to the C.I.A.
But the future of the business may be methamphetamine. During the 1990s, when the market for meth exploded in the United States, new regulations made it more difficult to manufacture large quantities of the drug in this country. This presented an opportunity that the Sinaloa quickly exploited. According to Anabel Hernández, author of “Los Señores del Narco,” a book about the cartel, it was one of Chapo’s deputies, a trafficker named Ignacio (Nacho) Coronel, who first spotted the massive potential of methamphetamine. “Nacho was like Steve Jobs,” Hernández told me. “He saw the future.”
Here was a drug that was ragingly addictive and could be produced cheaply and smuggled with relative ease. When they first started manufacturing meth, the Sinaloa would provide free samples to their existing wholesale clients in the Midwest. “They’d send five hundred pounds of marijuana, and secreted in that would be two kilos of meth,” Jack Riley, the D.E.A.’s special agent in charge of the Chicago office, told me. “They’d give it away for free. They wanted the market.” As demand grew, the cartel constructed superlabs, capable of churning out industrial volumes of meth. Container ships from India and China unloaded precursor chemicals — largely ephedrine — in the Pacific ports Lázaro Cárdenas and Manzanillo. To grasp the scale of production, consider the volume of some recent precursor seizures at these ports: 22 tons in October 2009; 88 tons in May 2010; 252 tons last December. When Mexico banned the importation of ephedrine, the cartel adapted, tweaking its recipe to use unregulated precursors. Recently they have started outsourcing production to new labs in Guatemala.
But Chapo’s greatest contribution to the evolving tradecraft of drug trafficking was one of those innovations that seem so logical in hindsight it’s a wonder nobody thought of it before: a tunnel. In the late 1980s, Chapo hired an architect to design an underground passageway from Mexico to the United States. What appeared to be a water faucet outside the home of a cartel attorney in the border town of Agua Prieta was in fact a secret lever that, when twisted, activated a hydraulic system that opened a hidden trapdoor underneath a pool table inside the house. The passage ran more than 200 feet, directly beneath the fortifications along the border, and emerged inside a warehouse the cartel owned in Douglas, Ariz. Chapo pronounced it “cool.”
When this new route was complete, Chapo instructed Martínez to call the Colombians. “Tell them to send all the drugs they can,” he said. As the deliveries multiplied, Sinaloa acquired a reputation for the miraculous speed with which it could push inventory across the border. “Before the planes were arriving back in Colombia on the return, the cocaine was already in Los Angeles,” Martínez marveled.
Eventually the tunnel was discovered, so Chapo shifted tactics once again, this time by going into the chili-pepper business. He opened a cannery in Guadalajara and began producing thousands of cans stamped “Comadre Jalapeños,” stuffing them with cocaine, then vacuum-sealing them and shipping them to Mexican-owned grocery stores in California. He sent drugs in the refrigeration units of tractor-trailers, in custom-made cavities in the bodies of cars and in truckloads of fish (which inspectors at a sweltering checkpoint might not want to detain for long). He sent drugs across the border on freight trains, to cartel warehouses in Los Angeles and Chicago, where rail spurs let the cars roll directly inside to unload. He sent drugs via FedEx.
But that tunnel into Douglas remains Chapo’s masterpiece, an emblem of his creative ingenuity. Twenty years on, the cartels are still burrowing under the border — more than a hundred tunnels have been discovered in the years since Chapo’s first. They are often ventilated and air-conditioned, and some feature trolley lines stretching up to a half-mile to accommodate the tonnage in transit.
You might suppose that a certain recklessness would be a prerequisite for anyone contemplating a career in the drug trade. But in reality, blue-chip traffickers tend to fixate, with neurotic intensity, on the concept of risk. “The goal of these folks is not to sell drugs,” Tony Placido, who was the top intelligence official at the D.E.A. until he retired last year, told me. “It’s to earn a spendable profit and live to enjoy it.” So the smart narcos are preoccupied with what Peter Reuter and Mark Kleiman once referred to, in a classic essay on the drug business, as “the marginal imprisonment risk.” In 2010, Chapo’s old friend Ismael (El Mayo) Zambada, the No. 2 man in the Sinaloa cartel, granted an interview to the Mexican magazine Proceso. Now in his 60s and a grandfather, El Mayo has been in the drug business for nearly half a century and has amassed a fortune. But you can’t buy peace of mind. “I’m terrified they’ll incarcerate me,” he acknowledged. “I’m full of fear. Always.”
There’s a reason coke and heroin cost so much more on the street than at the farm gate: you’re not paying for the drugs; you’re compensating everyone along the distribution chain for the risks they assumed in getting them to you. Smugglers often negotiate, in actuarial detail, about who will be held liable in the event of lost inventory. After a bust, arrested traffickers have been known to demand a receipt from authorities, so that they can prove the loss was not because of their own negligence (which would mean they might have to pay for it) or their own thievery (which would mean they might have to die). Some Colombian cartels have actually offered insurance policies on narcotics, as a safeguard against loss or seizure.
To prevent catastrophic losses, cartels tend to distribute their risk as much as possible. Before sending a 100-kilo shipment across the border, traffickers might disaggregate it into five carloads of 20 kilos each. Chapo and his associates further reduce their personal exposure by going in together on shipments, so each of those smaller carloads might hold 10 kilos belonging to Chapo and 10 belonging to Mayo Zambada. The Sinaloa is occasionally called the Federation because senior figures and their subsidiaries operate semiautonomously while still employing a common smuggling apparatus.
The organizational structure of the cartel also seems fashioned to protect the leadership. No one knows how many people work for Sinaloa, and the range of estimates is comically broad. Malcolm Beith, the author of a recent book about Chapo, posits that at any given moment, the drug lord may have 150,000 people working for him. John Bailey, a Georgetown professor who has studied the cartel, says that the number of actual employees could be as low as 150. The way to account for this disparity is to distinguish between salaried employees and subcontractors. A labor force of thousands may be required to plow all that contraband up the continent, but a lot of the work can be delegated to independent contractors, people the Mexican political scientist and security consultant Eduardo Guerrero describes as working “for the cartel but outside it.”
Even those who do work directly for the cartel are limited to carefully compartmentalized roles. At a recent trial, a regional cartel lieutenant, José Esparza, testified about his experience working for the Sinaloa along the border. On one occasion, he attended a meeting outside Culiacán with many of the cartel’s top leaders. But there was no sign of Chapo. Once the discussion concluded, an emissary left the group and approached a Hummer that was parked in the distance and surrounded by men with bulletproof vests and machine guns, to report on the proceedings. Chapo never stepped out of the vehicle.
It’s not just the federales that the narcos fear; it’s also one another. The brutal opportunism of the underworld economy means that most partnerships are temporary, and treachery abounds. For decades, Chapo worked closely with his childhood friend Arturo Beltrán Leyva, a fearsome trafficker who ran a profitable subsidiary of Sinaloa. But in 2008, the two men split, then went to war, and Beltrán Leyva’s assassins were later blamed for murdering one of Chapo’s sons. To reduce the likelihood of clashes like these, the cartel has revived an unlikely custom: the ancient art of dynastic marriage. Chapo’s organization is occasionally referred to as an alianza de sangre (“alliance of blood”), because so many of its prominent members are cousins by marriage or brothers-in-law. Emma Coronel, who gave birth to Chapo’s twins, is the niece of Nacho Coronel, the Steve Jobs of meth (who died in a shootout with the Mexican Army in 2010). All of this intermarriage, one U.S. official in Mexico suggested to me, functions as “a hedge against distrust.” An associate may be less likely to cheat you, or to murder you, if there’ll be hell to pay with his wife. It’s a cynical strategy, certainly, but in a vocation where one of Chapo’s rivals went by the nickname Mata Amigos, or “Friend Killer,” it may also be quite sound.
The surest way to stay out of trouble in the drug business is to dole out bribes, and promiscuously. Drug cartels don’t pay corporate taxes, but a colossus like Sinaloa makes regular payments to the federal, state and municipal authorities that may well rival the effective tax rate in Mexico. When the D.E.A. conducted an internal survey of its top 50 operatives and informants several years ago and asked them to name the most important factor for running a drug business, they replied, overwhelmingly, corruption. At a trial in 2010, a former police official from Juárez, Jesús Fierro Méndez, acknowledged that he had worked for Sinaloa. “Did the drug cartels have the police on the payroll?” an attorney asked.
“All of it,” Fierro Méndez replied.
The cartel bribes mayors and prosecutors and governors, state police and federal police, the army, the navy and a host of senior officials at the national level. After an arrest for drug trafficking in the 1990s, Chapo was sentenced to 20 years and shipped to Puente Grande, a fortified prison in Jalisco that was Mexico’s answer to a supermax. But during the five years he spent there, Chapo enjoyed prerogatives that make the prison sequence in “Goodfellas” look positively austere. With most of the facility on his payroll, he is said to have ordered his meals from a menu, conducted business by cellphone and orchestrated periodic visits by prostitutes, who would arrive aboard a prison truck driven by a guard. I spoke with one drug producer who negotiated a joint venture deal with Chapo while he was behind bars. Eventually, as the story goes, Chapo was smuggled out in a laundry cart. According to Martínez’s testimony, he paid more than $3 million to secure his release. Today, Chapo is a free man, Puente Grande’s warden only recently completed a jail sentence for letting him go and Mexicans call the prison Puerta Grande — the Big Door.
The tacit but unwavering tolerance that Mexican authorities have shown for the drug trade over the years has muddled the boundaries between outlaws and officials. When Miguel Angel Martínez was working for Chapo, he says, “everyone” in the organization had military and police identification. Daylight killings are sometimes carried out by men dressed in police uniforms, and it is not always clear, after the fact, whether the perpetrators were thugs masquerading as policemen or actual policemen providing paid assistance to the thugs. On those occasions when the government scores a big arrest, meanwhile, police and military officials pose for photos at the valedictory news conference brandishing assault weapons, their faces shrouded in ski masks, to shield their identities. In the trippy semiotics of the drug war, the cops dress like bandits, and the bandits dress like cops.
When you tally it all up, bribery may be the single largest line item on a cartel’s balance sheet. In 2008, President Felipe Calderón’s own drug czar, Noe Ramirez, was charged with accepting $450,000 each month. Presumably, such gargantuan bribes to senior officials cascade down, securing the allegiance of their subordinates. “You have to recruit the high commands, so they can issue the information to lower ranks and order whatever they want,” the corrupt cop, Fierro Méndez, testified. But in key jurisdictions, the cartel most likely makes payments up and down the chain of command. In a 2010 speech, Genaro García Luna, Mexico’s secretary of public security, speculated that together, the cartels spend more than a billion dollars each year just to bribe the municipal police.
It’s not only officials who must be bribed, either. There are also the “falcons,” an army of civilian lookouts who might receive $100 a month just to keep their eyes open and make a phone call if they notice an uptick in border inspections or a convoy of police. “There are cities in Mexico where virtually every cabdriver is on the payroll,” Michael Braun, formerly of the D.E.A., said. “They have eyes and ears everywhere.”
And then there are the Americans. Guards at the U.S. border have been known to wave a car through their checkpoints for a few thousand dollars, and since 2004, there have been 138 convictions or indictments in corruption investigations involving members of the United States Customs and Border Protection. Paradoxically, one explanation for this state of affairs is the rapid expansion of border forces following the creation of the Department of Homeland Security. In their hurry to fortify the U.S.-Mexico boundary with uniformed personnel, it seems, officials may have made allowances on background checks and screenings. In some instances, job offers have been extended to the immediate relatives of known traffickers.
When corruption fails, there is always violence. During the 12 years that he worked for the cartel, Martínez claims that he did not carry a gun. But Sinaloa has risen to pre-eminence as much through savagery as through savvy. “In illegal markets, the natural tendency is toward monopoly, so they fight each other,” Antonio Mazzitelli, an official with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Mexico City, told me. “How do they fight: Go to court? Offer better prices? No. They use violence.” The primal horror of Mexico’s murder epidemic makes it difficult, perhaps even distasteful, to construe the cartel’s butchery as a rational advancement of coherent business aims. But the reality is that in a multibillion-dollar industry in which there is no recourse to legally enforceable contracts, some degree of violence may be inevitable.
“It’s like geopolitics,” Tony Placido said. “You need to use violence frequently enough that the threat is believable. But overuse it, and it’s bad for business.”
The most gratuitous practitioners of violence right now would be the Zetas, a rampaging league of sociopaths with a notable devotion to physical cruelty. The Zetas are a new kind of cartel, in that they came somewhat late to the actual business of smuggling drugs. They started out as bodyguards for the Gulf Cartel before going into business for themselves, and they specialize in messaging through bloodshed. It’s the Zetas who are charged with dumping 49 mutilated bodies by the side of a highway near Monterrey last month. Sinaloa is responsible for a great deal of carnage as well, but its approach to killing has traditionally been more discreet. Whereas a Sinaloa subsidiary allied with a Tijuana farmer known as the Stewmaker, who dissolved hundreds of bodies in barrels of lye, the Zetas have pioneered a multimedia approach to violence, touting their killings on YouTube. One strategic choice facing any cartel is deciding when to intimidate the civilian population and when to cultivate it. Sinaloa can be exceedingly brutal, but the cartel is more pragmatic than the Zetas in its deployment of violence. It may simply be, as one Obama administration official suggested, that the Sinaloa leadership is “more conscious of their brand.”
It’s a curious rivalry between these two organizations, because their business models are really very different. The Zetas have diversified beyond drugs to extortion, kidnapping and human trafficking, blossoming into what officials call a “polycriminal organization.” Sinaloa, by contrast, has mostly tended to stick to its core competence of trafficking. According to one captured cartel member, Chapo specifically instructed his subordinates not to dabble in protection rackets and insisted that Sinaloa territory remain “calm” and “controlled.”
“Sinaloa does not do extortion directly,” Eduardo Guerrero said. “It’s so risky, and the profits are so small. They want the big business — and the big business is in the United States.”
Just how active the cartel is north of the border is a divisive question. According to the Department of Justice, by 2009, Mexican-based criminal organizations were operating in “more than a thousand U.S. cities.” When you consider the huge jump in the price of narcotics between bulk importation and retail sales, it might seem that Chapo would want to expand into street-level distribution. In 2005, the D.E.A. began intercepting large shipments of cocaine in which each kilo brick was heat-sealed in a distinctive Mylar foil. They spotted the foil in Los Angeles first, then in Oklahoma, Chicago, Atlanta and New Jersey. “This was Sinaloa coke,” Michael Wardrop, who led two of the agency’s most ambitious operations against the domestic networks of the cartel, told me. As the telltale wrapping popped up across the country, Wardrop and his colleagues marveled at the sheer expanse of Sinaloa’s market. “It was like watching a virus in a Petri dish,” he said. “It was constantly growing.”
Wardrop’s investigations netted more than a thousand arrests. But some observers question the extent to which the perpetrators in these cases were actually working for the cartel. “If you’re telling me there’s a straight chain of command back to El Chapo in Sinaloa — come on, that’s absurd,” the Mexican ambassador, Arturo Sarukhán, protested. Often, the gatekeepers and logistics men that the D.E.A. arrested were indeed connected to handlers in Mexico. But this was more true of high-level importers dealing in kilos than run-of-the-mill retailers pushing grams. When The Associated Press tracked down Otis Rich, a Baltimore dealer who was ensnared in one of the operations, he answered the obvious question with a telling reply: “Sina-who?”
“The fully integrated model would indeed maximize profits,” John Bailey observes in a coming book about the cartels, but “it also maximizes risk of exposure.” A big reason for the markup at the retail level is that the sales force is so exposed — out on the corner, a magnet for undercover cops, obliged to negotiate with a needy, unpredictable clientele. When you adjust for all that added risk, the windfall starts to seem less alluring. Like a liquor wholesaler who opts not to open a bar, Chapo appears to have decided that the profits associated with retail sales just aren’t worth the hassle.
What Sinaloa does do inside this country is ferry drugs along highways to regional distribution hubs, where they are turned over to trusted wholesalers, like the Flores twins of Chicago. Pedro and Margarito Flores grew up in a Mexican-American enclave of the city during the 1990s. Their father and an older brother had moved drugs for Sinaloa, and by the time the twins were in their 20s, they had gone into business as distributors, purchasing cocaine and heroin directly from Mexican cartels, then selling to dealers throughout the United States. Chicago, home of the Mercantile Exchange, has always been a hub from which legitimate goods fan out across the country, and it’s no different for black-market commodities. Chapo has used the city as a clearinghouse since the early 1990s; he once described it as his “home port.”
In 2005, the Flores twins were flown to a mountaintop compound in Sinaloa to meet with Chapo Guzmán. The kingpin is an intimidating interlocutor; one criminal who has negotiated with him face to face told me that Chapo tends to dominate a conversation, asking a lot of questions and compensating for his short stature by bouncing on the balls of his feet. But the meeting went well, and before long, the brothers were distributing around two tons of Sinaloa product each month. As preferred customers, they often took Chapo’s drugs without putting any money down, then paid the cartel only after they sold the product. This might seem unlikely, given the pervasive distrust in the underworld, but the narcotics trade is based on a robust and surprisingly reliable system of credit. In a sense, a cartel like Sinaloa has no choice but to offer a financing option, because few wholesale buyers have the liquidity to pay cash upfront for a ton of cocaine. “They have to offer lines of credit,” Wardrop told me, “no different from Walmart or Sears.”
This credit system, known as “fronting,” rests on an ironclad assumption that in the American marketplace, even an idiot salesman should have no trouble selling drugs. One convicted Sinaloa trafficker told me that it often took him more time to count the money he collected from his customers than it did to actually move the product. It may also help that the penalty for defaulting could involve dismemberment.
As wholesale buyers, the Flores brothers occupied a crucial bottleneck between the cartel and its consumers. They grew so indispensable, in fact, that after taking delivery of a shipment of drugs, they could retroactively bargain down the price. One day in 2008, Pedro Flores telephoned Guzmán in Mexico to ask for a discount on heroin.
“What did we agree on?” Chapo asked him, according to a government transcript of the call.
They had negotiated a price of $55,000 per kilo, Flores explained. But if Chapo would consider lowering that to $50,000, the twins could pay immediately.
“That price is fine,” Chapo agreed, without argument. Then he added something significant: “Do you have a way to bring that money over here?”
For the Sinaloa cartel, pushing product north into the United States is only half the logistical equation. The drug trade is a cash business — you can’t buy kilos with your credit card. So while politicians tend to focus on cartels primarily as importers of drugs, the narcos also devote an enormous amount of energy to the export of money. Cash is collected in small denominations from individual buyers and then bundled in great stacks of broken-in bills that are used to pay wholesalers, like the Flores brothers. These bills are counted, hidden in the same vehicle compartments that were used to smuggle drugs in the opposite direction and then sent to stash houses in Los Angeles, San Diego and Phoenix. From there, they move across the border into Mexico.
What happens to the money when it gets there? The cartel employs professional money launderers who specialize in drug proceeds, and according to Robert Mazur, a former D.E.A. agent who infiltrated the Colombian cartels, the fee for fully scrubbing and banking illicit proceeds may run Sinaloa more than 15 cents on the dollar. But a great deal of the cartel’s money remains in cash. In the early 1990s, a Sinaloa accountant sent planeloads of U.S. currency to Mexico City in suitcases holding $1 million each. When Miguel Angel Martínez worked for Chapo, the kingpin would test his loyalty, adding an extra $200,000 to one of the suitcases to see if Martínez would pocket it. “Eight suitcases, compadre, so that is $8 million,” he would say. (Martínez never fell for the trick.) A sizable share of the cash is devoted to paying bribes, and some is sent to Colombia to purchase more product, because drugs offer a strong return on investment. “Where would you put your money?” the former Cisen officer Alejandro Hope asked me with a chuckle. “T-bills? Real estate? I would put a large portion of my portfolio in cocaine.”
Even so, the business generates such volumes of currency that there is only so much you can launder or reinvest, which means that money can start to pile up around the house. The most that Martínez ever saw at one time was $30 million, which just sat there, having accumulated in his living room. In 2007, Mexican authorities raided the home of Zhenli Ye Gon, a Chinese-Mexican businessman who is believed to have supplied meth-precursor chemicals to the cartel, and discovered $206 million, the largest cash seizure in history. And that was the money Zhenli held onto — he was an inveterate gambler, who once blew so much cash in Las Vegas that one of the casinos presented him, in consolation, with a Rolls-Royce. “How much money do you have to lose in the casino for them to give you a Rolls-Royce?” Tony Placido, the D.E.A. intelligence official, asked. (The astonishing answer, in Zhenli’s case, is $72 million at a single casino in a single year.) Placido also pointed out that, as a precursor guy, Zhenli was on the low end of the value chain for meth. It makes you wonder about the net worth of the guy who runs the whole show.
In 2008, the Flores twins were indicted in Chicago and began secretly cooperating with law enforcement. The following year, one of their Sinaloa contacts — a debonair young trafficker named Jesús Vicente Zambada Niebla, or Vicentillo — was arrested in Mexico and later extradited to Chicago. He will be the highest-ranking member of the cartel ever to face trial in the United States, and his favorite wholesale customers will be the star witnesses against him. In a surprise twist, Vicentillo (who is the son of Chapo’s partner, Mayo Zambada) has argued that he can’t be prosecuted — because even as he worked for Sinaloa, he was also a secret informant for the D.E.A.
There has been speculation in Mexico that the Calderón regime favors Sinaloa over the unhinged Zetas and has made a devil’s pact to lay off the cartel. It might be impossible to eradicate all the cartels in Mexico, this theory goes, so the government has picked a favorite in the conflict in the hope that when the smoke clears, a Sinaloa monopoly might usher in a sort of pax narcotica. A 2010 National Public Radio investigation of Mexican arrest statistics found that Sinaloa had suffered conspicuously fewer arrests than had its peers, though this could simply be evidence of triage on the government’s part rather than p

Nov 22nd 2012, 16:34 by Economist.com

Mexican states compared with entire countries’ body counts, murder rates and populations

MEXICO’S murder rate has doubled over the past five years, to nearly 19 per 100,000 people per year. But what does that really mean? To give an idea of how safe or dangerous the country’s various states are, we have compared their crime statistics with those of whole countries. Visitors can relax in Yucatán, the safest state, which has about the same murder rate as Finland. Tlaxcala, not far from Mexico City, is about as safe as the United States. At the other end of the spectrum Chihuahua, the most violent state, has a murder rate equivalent to El Salvador, one of the most violent countries in the world. Another way of looking at the data is to compare the gross totals. The state of San Luis Potosí, for instance, has seen as many murders in the past year as all of Spain, despite having a population of just 2.6m.


BY NICHOLAS CASEY

MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s president-elect Enrique Peña Nieto, fresh off his weekend election victory, said Tuesday he plans to continue President Felipe Calderón’s fight against the country’s drug gangs, but outlined a long-term strategy to place more of the battle in the hands of civilians rather than the military.

In a wide-ranging interview in the capital, Mr. Peña Nieto, of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, praised much of Mr. Calderón’s strategy against organized crime, including the creation of a federal police force and growing cooperation with the U.S.


President Barack Obama telephoned Mexican President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto to congratulate him on his victory in last weekend’s elections, the White House said in a statement Monday. While the release listed several topics that the two men discussed, it made no explicit mention of the two countries’ fitful efforts to combat ultra-violent drug cartels.

Obama “reiterated his commitment to working in partnership with Mexico, and looks forward to advancing common goals, including promoting democracy, economic prosperity, and security in the region and around the globe, in the coming years,” according to the White House statement.

Peña Nieto’s victory brought the Institutional Revolutionary Party, which governed Mexico for decades, back to power. He has pledged to overhaul his country’s energy, labor and tax systems, Reuters reported..

“The two leaders reaffirmed the close bilateral partnership the United States and Mexico enjoy based on mutual respect, shared responsibility, and the deep connections between our people,” according to the statement. Obama also “congratulated the Mexican people who have once again demonstrated their commitment to democratic values through a free, fair, and transparent election process.”

Peña Nieto won Sunday’s election with 38 percent of the vote, according to early returns. That gave him a lead of roughly 7 percentage points over his nearest rival, leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador,  according to the Associated Press.

Obama has faced sharp Republican criticism over the government’s Fast and Furious operation, which aimed to track the flow of firearms from American gun sellers, through straw buyers, into the hands of the cartels. The Republican-led House of Representatives voted last week to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for refusing to hand over Justice Department documents tied to the operation.


MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican opposition candidate Enrique Pena Nieto’s campaign team claimed victory in the country’s presidential election on Sunday after exit polls showed him winning by a comfortable margin.

Pena Nieto, 45, of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), led by between 8 and 11 percentage points in exit polls published by three of Mexico’s main television networks after voting ended on Sunday night.
Shortly afterward his campaign manager, Luis Videgaray, declared victory.

“It is a resounding triumph,” Videgaray told Milenio television, adding that he was hopeful the PRI would have a majority in the Senate and possibly in the lower house of Congress, too.

The PRI, which governed Mexico for 71 years until losing power in 2000, has staged a comeback behind the handsome Pena Nieto, who has pledged to open state-owned oil monopoly Pemex to foreign investors, raise tax revenue and liberalize the labor market.

The exit polls showed him winning around 40 percent of the vote. Leftist rival Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was in second place with Josefina Vazquez Mota of the ruling National Action Party, or PAN, trailing in third.

“I recognize that the trend up to this point is not in my favor,” said Vazquez Mota, whose campaign was dragged down by a brutal war with drug cartels and the government’s patchy economic record.
Preliminary official results were due in the next few hours.

“It’s time for the PRI to return. They’re the only ones who know how to govern,” said Candelaria Puc, 70, as she voted in the beach resort of Cancun. “The PRI is tough, but they won’t let the drug violence get out of control.”

Others feared a return to the worst years of PRI rule and put Pena Nieto’s big lead down to his cozy relationship with Televisa, Mexico’s top broadcaster.

“It’s the same party as ever and the people who vote for him (Pena Nieto) believe they are going to live happily ever after like in the soap operas,” Humberto Parra, a systems engineer, said as he went to vote in Mexico City.

By the time it lost to the PAN in 2000, the PRI had a reputation for widespread corruption, electoral fraud and authoritarianism.

The PRI was in disarray by 2006, when its presidential candidate came in a distant third, but it has rebounded since then and Pena Nieto gave it a new face.

He is promising to restore security to cities and towns ravaged by the drug war and also plans to reform Pemex, a proposal once considered political suicide.

Mexicans are fiercely protective of Pemex, but the PRI, which nationalized oil production in 1938, could be the one party able to liberalize the energy industry.

The PRI laid the foundations of the modern state with a nimble blend of politics and patronage that allowed it to appeal to labor unions and captains of industry at the same time.
Mexicans eventually tired of heavy-handedness that stifled dissent, rewarded loyalists and allowed widespread corruption.

(Additional reporting by Miguel Angel Gutierrez, Ana Isabel Martinez, Pablo Garibian; Editing by Dave Graham and Kieran Murray and Christopher Wilson)


Mexico’s Next President Won’t Slow The Drug War

By Robert Beckhusen

At this point, there’s little doubt who is likely to win Mexico’s presidential election on Sunday. That would be Enrique Peña Nieto, who polls show leading with double-digits over his rival candidates. He’s also calling for a (subtle) shift in the fight against the cartels: don’t bother as much with stopping drugs and taking down drug lords, but focus on stopping violence and kidnapping. But as far as big changes go, don’t expect much if Peña Nieto wins, at least not soon.

First, the little things. Last week, Pieña Nieto recruited Colombian General Oscar Naranjo — a veteran of the war against the notorious drug lord Pablo Escobar — as his top security adviser. Peña Nieto wants to boost Mexico’s Federal Police, and he’s for creating a new national paramilitary police force to fight the cartels.  His campaign has also been “highly solicitous” of the United States, notes Patrick Corcoran ofInSight, an organized crime monitoring group. This could mean a bigger U.S. role. Naranjo is also reportedly close to U.S. officials.
This is while the cartels still exercise draconian rule over cities throughout many parts of the country, especially along the border. Ciudad Juárez, which came to define Mexico’s drug violence when viewed from outside the country, has seen a drop in murders to 2007 levels, Corcoran adds. But other cities, like Nuevo Laredo, experienced lower and lower levels of violence only for gangland killings to spark anew. The cartels have also spread to new areas.
“If you noticed, none of the presidential candidates broke openly with [outgoing President Felipe Calderón’s] strategy — the farthest they went was to criticize the level of violence,” César Martinez Espinosa, a doctoral candidate at the University of Texas and a specialist in Mexican national security issues, writes in an e-mail. ”This is because they recognized that a majority of people (outside of Mexico City) approves Calderón’s fight against the cartels (some polls have tracked that), especially the participation of the military in it and because they might not have that much room to maneuver once they are in power.”
Reducing violence by legalizing drugs? Not likely in the least. A darker suggestion floated as a possibility in press reports is some kind of deal with the cartels, but Pieña Nieto has ruled out negotiating a truce.
The reason why a truce is brought up: Peña Nieto’s political party, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (or PRI), formerly maintained uninterrupted single-party rule for most of the 20th century. But when it lost power 12 years ago, it also lost a patronage system between regional party bosses and the cartels. This system meant drugs were allowed to flow relatively freely, provided physical disputes between the cartels didn’t get out of hand. But losing a (note: corrupt) system of checks and balances, beef between cartels escalated.
Nor is it likely that such a deal could be made today. In some states that maintained PRI rule, these networks were maintained but still failed to stop the surge in violence. Some of the state-level politicians with ties to the cartels are now being purged. In any case, the PRI will be governing a different Mexico: one in which corruption is still a major problem, but in which a single party is not able to maintain control over the entire governing apparatus. Another problem is that today’s cartels are smaller, a lot more numerous and increasingly decentralized. With so many cartels operating in Mexico today, who do you cut a deal with?
“Should he win, Peña Nieto will surely seek some cosmetic changes, and he may push the philosophy underlying Mexico’s crime strategy in a new direction. But the obstacles to a different approach are enormous; as a result, for better or worse, the shifts are likely to be marginal,” notes Corcoran.
Another option is to eliminate some local police forces and “consolidate them into stronger state forces,” says Martinez. Elsewhere, the new president will have to keep up economic growth and push reforms through the courts and a chaotic, badly-run prison system. But for the time being, and for whoever wins, the war with the cartels will continue.


Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera (born April 4, 1957)[2] is a fugitive Mexican drug lord who heads the world’s largest and most powerful drug trafficking organization, the Sinaloa Cartel,[5] an organization named after the Mexican Pacific coast state of Sinaloa where it was initially formed. Known as “El Chapo Guzmán” (“Shorty Guzmán“) for his 1.68 m (5 ft 6 in) stature, he became Mexico’s top drug kingpin in 2003 after the arrest of his rival Osiel Cárdenas of the Gulf Cartel, and is now considered “The most powerful drug trafficker in the world,” by the United States Department of the Treasury.[6][7]
Guzmán Loera has been ranked by Forbes magazine as one of the most powerful people in the world every year since 2009; ranking 41st, 60th and 55th respectively.[8][9] He was also listed by Forbes as the 10th richest man in Mexico (1,140th in the world) in 2011.[10][11] Forbes also calls him the “biggest druglord of all time”,[12] and the DEA strongly believes he has surpassed the influence and reach of Pablo Escobar, and now considers him “the godfather of the drug world.”[13]
Guzman Loera’s Sinaloa Cartel smuggles multi-ton cocaine shipments from Colombia through Mexico to the United States,[1] and has distribution cells throughout the U.S.[1] The organization has also been involved in the production, smuggling and distribution of Mexican methamphetamine,marijuana, and heroin. The U.S. offers a $5 million USD reward for information leading to his capture. The Mexican government offers a reward of 30 million pesos for such information.


Cocaine Incorporated

One afternoon last August, at a hospital on the outskirts of Los Angeles, a former beauty queen named Emma Coronel gave birth to a pair of heiresses. The twins, who were delivered at 3:50 and 3:51, respectively, stand to inherit some share of a fortune that Forbes estimates is worth a billion dollars. Coronel’s husband, who was not present for the birth, is a legendary tycoon who overcame a penurious rural childhood to establish a wildly successful multinational business. If Coronel elected to leave the entry for “Father” on the birth certificates blank, it was not because of any dispute over patrimony. More likely, she was just skittish about the fact that her husband, Joaquín Guzmán, is the C.E.O. of Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel, a man the Treasury Department recently described as the world’s most powerful drug trafficker. Guzmán’s organization is responsible for as much as half of the illegal narcotics imported into the United States from Mexico each year; he may well be the most-wanted criminal in this post-Bin Laden world. But his bride is a U.S. citizen with no charges against her. So authorities could only watch as she bundled up her daughters and slipped back across the border to introduce them to their dad.
How the Sinaloa Cartel Smuggles Drugs Across Borders

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Known as El Chapo for his short, stocky frame, Guzmán is 55, which in narco-years is about 150. He is a quasi-mythical figure in Mexico, the subject of countless ballads, who has outlived enemies and accomplices alike, defying the implicit bargain of a life in the drug trade: that careers are glittering but brief and always terminate in prison or the grave. When Pablo Escobar was Chapo’s age, he had been dead for more than a decade. In fact, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration, Chapo sells more drugs today than Escobar did at the height of his career. To some extent, this success is easily explained: as Hillary Clinton acknowledged several years ago, America’s “insatiable demand for illegal drugs” is what drives the clandestine industry. It’s no accident that the world’s biggest supplier of narcotics and the world’s biggest consumer of narcotics just happen to be neighbors. “Poor Mexico,” its former president Porfirio Díaz is said to have remarked. “So far from God and so close to the United States.”
The Sinaloa cartel can buy a kilo of cocaine in the highlands of Colombia or Peru for around $2,000, then watch it accrue value as it makes its way to market. In Mexico, that kilo fetches more than $10,000. Jump the border to the United States, and it could sell wholesale for $30,000. Break it down into grams to distribute retail, and that same kilo sells for upward of $100,000 — more than its weight in gold. And that’s just cocaine. Alone among the Mexican cartels, Sinaloa is both diversified and vertically integrated, producing and exporting marijuana, heroin and methamphetamine as well.
Estimating the precise scale of Chapo’s empire is tricky, however. Statistics on underground economies are inherently speculative: cartels don’t make annual disclosures, and no auditor examines their books. Instead, we’re left with back-of-the-envelope extrapolations based on conjectural data, much of it supplied by government agencies that may have bureaucratic incentives to overplay the problem.
So in a spirit of empirical humility, we shouldn’t accept as gospel the estimate, from the Justice Department, that Colombian and Mexican cartels reap $18 billion to $39 billion from drug sales in the United States each year. (That range alone should give you pause.) Still, even if you take the lowest available numbers, Sinaloa emerges as a titanic player in the global black market. In the sober reckoning of the RAND Corporation, for instance, the gross revenue that all Mexican cartels derive from exporting drugs to the United States amounts to only $6.6 billion. By most estimates, though, Sinaloa has achieved a market share of at least 40 percent and perhaps as much as 60 percent, which means that Chapo Guzmán’s organization would appear to enjoy annual revenues of some $3 billion — comparable in terms of earnings to Netflix or, for that matter, to Facebook.
The drug war in Mexico has claimed more than 50,000 lives since 2006. But what tends to get lost amid coverage of this epic bloodletting is just how effective the drug business has become. A close study of the Sinaloa cartel, based on thousands of pages of trial records and dozens of interviews with convicted drug traffickers and current and former officials in Mexico and the United States, reveals an operation that is global (it is active in more than a dozen countries) yet also very nimble and, above all, staggeringly complex. Sinaloa didn’t merely survive the recession — it has thrived in recent years. And after prevailing in some recent mass-casualty clashes, it now controls more territory along the border than ever.
“Chapo always talks about the drug business, wherever he is,” one erstwhile confidant told a jury several years ago, describing a driven, even obsessive entrepreneur with a proclivity for micromanagement. From the remote mountain redoubt where he is believed to be hiding, surrounded at all times by a battery of gunmen, Chapo oversees a logistical network that is as sophisticated, in some ways, as that of Amazon or U.P.S. — doubly sophisticated, when you think about it, because traffickers must move both their product and their profits in secret, and constantly maneuver to avoid death or arrest. As a mirror image of a legal commodities business, the Sinaloa cartel brings to mind that old line about Ginger Rogers doing all the same moves as Fred Astaire, only backward and in heels. In its longevity, profitability and scope, it might be the most successful criminal enterprise in history.
The state of Sinaloa, from which the cartel derives its name, lies wedged between the Sierra Madre Occidental and Mexico’s west coast. Sun-blasted and remote, Sinaloa is the Sicily of Mexico, both cradle and refuge of violent men, and the ancestral land of many of the country’s most notorious traffickers. Chapo was born in a village called La Tuna, in the foothills of the Sierra, in 1957. His formal education ended in third grade, and as an adult, he has reportedly struggled to read and write, prevailing upon a ghostwriter, at one point, to compose letters to his mistress. Little is known about Chapo’s early years, but by the 1980s, he joined the Guadalajara cartel, which was run by a former policeman known as El Padrino — the Godfather.
For decades, Mexican smugglers had exported homegrown marijuana and heroin to the United States. But as the Colombian cocaine boom gathered momentum in the 1980s and U.S. law enforcement began patrolling the Caribbean, the Colombians went in search of an alternate route to the United States and discovered one in Mexico. Initially, Mexican traffickers, like a pudgy 25-year-old airplane pilot named Miguel Angel Martínez, acted as independent contractors who were paid a fee by the Colombians to move their cargo. In 1986, the Guadalajara cartel dispatched Martínez to the Colombian port of Barranquilla, in the hope that someone might commission him to fly drugs up to Mexico. But Martínez couldn’t find any takers and ended up languishing in Colombia for months, worrying that he had blown his big opportunity with the cartel. Eventually, he caught a commercial flight back to Mexico, and shortly thereafter, he was summoned to a meeting with Chapo, who was by then an underboss in the cartel. “You were very well behaved in Colombia,” Chapo told him, according to subsequent testimony. He seemed impressed by Martínez’s patience in waiting for an assignment.
Having passed this test, Martínez started working for Chapo as a kind of air traffic controller, negotiating directly with the Cali and Medellín cartels, then guiding their cocaine flights from South America to secret runways in barren stretches of Mexico. Martínez knew U.S. agents were monitoring his radio communications, so rather than say a word, he would whistle — a signal to the pilots that they were cleared for takeoff.
With the decline of the Caribbean route, the Colombians started paying Mexican smugglers not in cash but in cocaine. More than any other factor, it was this transition that realigned the power dynamics along the narcotics supply chain in the Americas, because it allowed the Mexicans to stop serving as logistical middlemen and invest in their own drugs instead. In 1986, Martínez couldn’t land a gig as a lowly courier in Barranquilla. Not five years later, he was marshaling hundreds of flights laden with cocaine for Chapo. “Sometimes we would get five planes a night,” he remembered. “Sometimes 16.” Now it was the Colombians who went hat in hand to Chapo, looking not to hire him to move their product but to sell it to him outright. They would tip Martínez $25,000 just to get an audience with the man.
The young pilot became a gatekeeper to the ascendant kingpin, fielding his phone calls and accompanying him on foreign trips. There’s a vaudevillian goofiness to nicknames in Mexico, and the stout Martínez was known in the cartel as El Gordo. He and Chapo — Fatty and Shorty — made quite a pair. “Japan, Hong Kong, India, all of Europe,” Martínez recalled in testimony. Chapo owned a fleet of Learjets, and together, they saw “the whole world.” They both used cocaine as well, a habit that Chapo would eventually give up. When a lawyer inquired, years later, whether he had been Chapo’s right-hand man, Martínez replied that he might have been, but that Guzmán had five left hands and five right hands. “He’s an octopus, Chapo Guzmán,” he said. For his efforts, Martínez was paid a million dollars a year, in a single annual installment: “In cash, in a suitcase, each December.” When Martínez’s son was born, Chapo asked to serve as godfather.
In 1989, Chapo’s mentor, El Padrino, was captured by Mexican authorities, and the remaining members of the Guadalajara cartel assembled in Acapulco to determine which smuggling route each capo would inherit. According to Ioan Grillo’s book, “El Narco,” the meeting was ostensibly a gathering of friends. But the shards of El Padrino’s organization would become the basis for the Tijuana, Juárez and Sinaloa cartels, and these onetime colleagues would soon become antagonists in a cycle of bloody turf wars that continues to this day.
“Drug cartel,” it turns out, is a whopper of a misnomer; neither the Mexicans nor the Colombians ever colluded to fix prices or supply. “I wish they were cartels,” Arturo Sarukhán, Mexico’s ambassador in Washington, told me. “If they were, they wouldn’t be fighting and driving up the violence.”
At first, Chapo’s organization controlled a single smuggling route, through western Mexico into Arizona. But by 1990, it was moving three tons of cocaine each month over the border, and from there, to Los Angeles. The Sinaloa has always distinguished itself by the eclectic means it uses to transport drugs. Working with Colombian suppliers, cartel operatives moved cocaine into Mexico in small private aircraft and in baggage smuggled on commercial flights and eventually on their own 747s, which they could load with as much as 13 tons of cocaine. They used container ships and fishing vessels and go-fast boats and submarines — crude semi-submersibles at first, then fully submersible subs, conceived by engineers and constructed under the canopy of the Amazon, then floated downriver in pieces and assembled at the coastline. These vessels can cost more than a million dollars, but to the smugglers, they are effectively disposable. In the event of an interception by the Coast Guard, someone onboard pulls a lever that floods the interior so that the evidence sinks; only the crew is left bobbing in the water, waiting to be picked up by the authorities.
Moving cocaine is a capital-intensive business, but the cartel subsidizes these investments with a ready source of easy income: marijuana. Cannabis is often described as the “cash crop” of Mexican cartels because it grows abundantly in the Sierras and requires no processing. But it’s bulkier than cocaine, and smellier, which makes it difficult to conceal. So marijuana tends to cross the border far from official ports of entry. The cartel makes sandbag bridges to ford the Colorado River and sends buggies loaded with weed bouncing over the Imperial Sand Dunes into California. Michael Braun, the former chief of operations for the D.E.A., told me a story about the construction of a high-tech fence along a stretch of border in Arizona. “They erect this fence,” he said, “only to go out there a few days later and discover that these guys have a catapult, and they’re flinging hundred-pound bales of marijuana over to the other side.” He paused and looked at me for a second. “A catapult,” he repeated. “We’ve got the best fence money can buy, and they counter us with a 2,500-year-old technology.”
Improvisation is a trafficker’s greatest asset, and in recent years, Sinaloa has devised an even more efficient solution to the perennial challenge of getting marijuana across the border. Grow it here. Several years ago, a hunter was trekking through the remote North Woods of Wisconsin when he stumbled upon a vast irrigated grow site, tended by a dozen Mexican farmers armed with AK-47’s. According to the D.E.A., it was a Sinaloa pot farm, established on U.S. National Forest land to supply the market in Chicago.
Heroin is easier to smuggle but difficult to produce, and as detailed in court documents, Chapo is particularly proud of his organization’s work with the drug. He personally negotiates shipments to the United States and stands by its quality, which is normally 94 percent pure. “The value-to-weight ratio of heroin is better than any other drug,” says Alejandro Hope, who until recently was a senior officer at Cisen, Mexico’s equivalent to the C.I.A.
But the future of the business may be methamphetamine. During the 1990s, when the market for meth exploded in the United States, new regulations made it more difficult to manufacture large quantities of the drug in this country. This presented an opportunity that the Sinaloa quickly exploited. According to Anabel Hernández, author of “Los Señores del Narco,” a book about the cartel, it was one of Chapo’s deputies, a trafficker named Ignacio (Nacho) Coronel, who first spotted the massive potential of methamphetamine. “Nacho was like Steve Jobs,” Hernández told me. “He saw the future.”
Here was a drug that was ragingly addictive and could be produced cheaply and smuggled with relative ease. When they first started manufacturing meth, the Sinaloa would provide free samples to their existing wholesale clients in the Midwest. “They’d send five hundred pounds of marijuana, and secreted in that would be two kilos of meth,” Jack Riley, the D.E.A.’s special agent in charge of the Chicago office, told me. “They’d give it away for free. They wanted the market.” As demand grew, the cartel constructed superlabs, capable of churning out industrial volumes of meth. Container ships from India and China unloaded precursor chemicals — largely ephedrine — in the Pacific ports Lázaro Cárdenas and Manzanillo. To grasp the scale of production, consider the volume of some recent precursor seizures at these ports: 22 tons in October 2009; 88 tons in May 2010; 252 tons last December. When Mexico banned the importation of ephedrine, the cartel adapted, tweaking its recipe to use unregulated precursors. Recently they have started outsourcing production to new labs in Guatemala.
But Chapo’s greatest contribution to the evolving tradecraft of drug trafficking was one of those innovations that seem so logical in hindsight it’s a wonder nobody thought of it before: a tunnel. In the late 1980s, Chapo hired an architect to design an underground passageway from Mexico to the United States. What appeared to be a water faucet outside the home of a cartel attorney in the border town of Agua Prieta was in fact a secret lever that, when twisted, activated a hydraulic system that opened a hidden trapdoor underneath a pool table inside the house. The passage ran more than 200 feet, directly beneath the fortifications along the border, and emerged inside a warehouse the cartel owned in Douglas, Ariz. Chapo pronounced it “cool.”
When this new route was complete, Chapo instructed Martínez to call the Colombians. “Tell them to send all the drugs they can,” he said. As the deliveries multiplied, Sinaloa acquired a reputation for the miraculous speed with which it could push inventory across the border. “Before the planes were arriving back in Colombia on the return, the cocaine was already in Los Angeles,” Martínez marveled.
Eventually the tunnel was discovered, so Chapo shifted tactics once again, this time by going into the chili-pepper business. He opened a cannery in Guadalajara and began producing thousands of cans stamped “Comadre Jalapeños,” stuffing them with cocaine, then vacuum-sealing them and shipping them to Mexican-owned grocery stores in California. He sent drugs in the refrigeration units of tractor-trailers, in custom-made cavities in the bodies of cars and in truckloads of fish (which inspectors at a sweltering checkpoint might not want to detain for long). He sent drugs across the border on freight trains, to cartel warehouses in Los Angeles and Chicago, where rail spurs let the cars roll directly inside to unload. He sent drugs via FedEx.
But that tunnel into Douglas remains Chapo’s masterpiece, an emblem of his creative ingenuity. Twenty years on, the cartels are still burrowing under the border — more than a hundred tunnels have been discovered in the years since Chapo’s first. They are often ventilated and air-conditioned, and some feature trolley lines stretching up to a half-mile to accommodate the tonnage in transit.
You might suppose that a certain recklessness would be a prerequisite for anyone contemplating a career in the drug trade. But in reality, blue-chip traffickers tend to fixate, with neurotic intensity, on the concept of risk. “The goal of these folks is not to sell drugs,” Tony Placido, who was the top intelligence official at the D.E.A. until he retired last year, told me. “It’s to earn a spendable profit and live to enjoy it.” So the smart narcos are preoccupied with what Peter Reuter and Mark Kleiman once referred to, in a classic essay on the drug business, as “the marginal imprisonment risk.” In 2010, Chapo’s old friend Ismael (El Mayo) Zambada, the No. 2 man in the Sinaloa cartel, granted an interview to the Mexican magazine Proceso. Now in his 60s and a grandfather, El Mayo has been in the drug business for nearly half a century and has amassed a fortune. But you can’t buy peace of mind. “I’m terrified they’ll incarcerate me,” he acknowledged. “I’m full of fear. Always.”
There’s a reason coke and heroin cost so much more on the street than at the farm gate: you’re not paying for the drugs; you’re compensating everyone along the distribution chain for the risks they assumed in getting them to you. Smugglers often negotiate, in actuarial detail, about who will be held liable in the event of lost inventory. After a bust, arrested traffickers have been known to demand a receipt from authorities, so that they can prove the loss was not because of their own negligence (which would mean they might have to pay for it) or their own thievery (which would mean they might have to die). Some Colombian cartels have actually offered insurance policies on narcotics, as a safeguard against loss or seizure.
To prevent catastrophic losses, cartels tend to distribute their risk as much as possible. Before sending a 100-kilo shipment across the border, traffickers might disaggregate it into five carloads of 20 kilos each. Chapo and his associates further reduce their personal exposure by going in together on shipments, so each of those smaller carloads might hold 10 kilos belonging to Chapo and 10 belonging to Mayo Zambada. The Sinaloa is occasionally called the Federation because senior figures and their subsidiaries operate semiautonomously while still employing a common smuggling apparatus.
The organizational structure of the cartel also seems fashioned to protect the leadership. No one knows how many people work for Sinaloa, and the range of estimates is comically broad. Malcolm Beith, the author of a recent book about Chapo, posits that at any given moment, the drug lord may have 150,000 people working for him. John Bailey, a Georgetown professor who has studied the cartel, says that the number of actual employees could be as low as 150. The way to account for this disparity is to distinguish between salaried employees and subcontractors. A labor force of thousands may be required to plow all that contraband up the continent, but a lot of the work can be delegated to independent contractors, people the Mexican political scientist and security consultant Eduardo Guerrero describes as working “for the cartel but outside it.”
Even those who do work directly for the cartel are limited to carefully compartmentalized roles. At a recent trial, a regional cartel lieutenant, José Esparza, testified about his experience working for the Sinaloa along the border. On one occasion, he attended a meeting outside Culiacán with many of the cartel’s top leaders. But there was no sign of Chapo. Once the discussion concluded, an emissary left the group and approached a Hummer that was parked in the distance and surrounded by men with bulletproof vests and machine guns, to report on the proceedings. Chapo never stepped out of the vehicle.
It’s not just the federales that the narcos fear; it’s also one another. The brutal opportunism of the underworld economy means that most partnerships are temporary, and treachery abounds. For decades, Chapo worked closely with his childhood friend Arturo Beltrán Leyva, a fearsome trafficker who ran a profitable subsidiary of Sinaloa. But in 2008, the two men split, then went to war, and Beltrán Leyva’s assassins were later blamed for murdering one of Chapo’s sons. To reduce the likelihood of clashes like these, the cartel has revived an unlikely custom: the ancient art of dynastic marriage. Chapo’s organization is occasionally referred to as an alianza de sangre (“alliance of blood”), because so many of its prominent members are cousins by marriage or brothers-in-law. Emma Coronel, who gave birth to Chapo’s twins, is the niece of Nacho Coronel, the Steve Jobs of meth (who died in a shootout with the Mexican Army in 2010). All of this intermarriage, one U.S. official in Mexico suggested to me, functions as “a hedge against distrust.” An associate may be less likely to cheat you, or to murder you, if there’ll be hell to pay with his wife. It’s a cynical strategy, certainly, but in a vocation where one of Chapo’s rivals went by the nickname Mata Amigos, or “Friend Killer,” it may also be quite sound.
The surest way to stay out of trouble in the drug business is to dole out bribes, and promiscuously. Drug cartels don’t pay corporate taxes, but a colossus like Sinaloa makes regular payments to the federal, state and municipal authorities that may well rival the effective tax rate in Mexico. When the D.E.A. conducted an internal survey of its top 50 operatives and informants several years ago and asked them to name the most important factor for running a drug business, they replied, overwhelmingly, corruption. At a trial in 2010, a former police official from Juárez, Jesús Fierro Méndez, acknowledged that he had worked for Sinaloa. “Did the drug cartels have the police on the payroll?” an attorney asked.
“All of it,” Fierro Méndez replied.
The cartel bribes mayors and prosecutors and governors, state police and federal police, the army, the navy and a host of senior officials at the national level. After an arrest for drug trafficking in the 1990s, Chapo was sentenced to 20 years and shipped to Puente Grande, a fortified prison in Jalisco that was Mexico’s answer to a supermax. But during the five years he spent there, Chapo enjoyed prerogatives that make the prison sequence in “Goodfellas” look positively austere. With most of the facility on his payroll, he is said to have ordered his meals from a menu, conducted business by cellphone and orchestrated periodic visits by prostitutes, who would arrive aboard a prison truck driven by a guard. I spoke with one drug producer who negotiated a joint venture deal with Chapo while he was behind bars. Eventually, as the story goes, Chapo was smuggled out in a laundry cart. According to Martínez’s testimony, he paid more than $3 million to secure his release. Today, Chapo is a free man, Puente Grande’s warden only recently completed a jail sentence for letting him go and Mexicans call the prison Puerta Grande — the Big Door.
The tacit but unwavering tolerance that Mexican authorities have shown for the drug trade over the years has muddled the boundaries between outlaws and officials. When Miguel Angel Martínez was working for Chapo, he says, “everyone” in the organization had military and police identification. Daylight killings are sometimes carried out by men dressed in police uniforms, and it is not always clear, after the fact, whether the perpetrators were thugs masquerading as policemen or actual policemen providing paid assistance to the thugs. On those occasions when the government scores a big arrest, meanwhile, police and military officials pose for photos at the valedictory news conference brandishing assault weapons, their faces shrouded in ski masks, to shield their identities. In the trippy semiotics of the drug war, the cops dress like bandits, and the bandits dress like cops.
When you tally it all up, bribery may be the single largest line item on a cartel’s balance sheet. In 2008, President Felipe Calderón’s own drug czar, Noe Ramirez, was charged with accepting $450,000 each month. Presumably, such gargantuan bribes to senior officials cascade down, securing the allegiance of their subordinates. “You have to recruit the high commands, so they can issue the information to lower ranks and order whatever they want,” the corrupt cop, Fierro Méndez, testified. But in key jurisdictions, the cartel most likely makes payments up and down the chain of command. In a 2010 speech, Genaro García Luna, Mexico’s secretary of public security, speculated that together, the cartels spend more than a billion dollars each year just to bribe the municipal police.
It’s not only officials who must be bribed, either. There are also the “falcons,” an army of civilian lookouts who might receive $100 a month just to keep their eyes open and make a phone call if they notice an uptick in border inspections or a convoy of police. “There are cities in Mexico where virtually every cabdriver is on the payroll,” Michael Braun, formerly of the D.E.A., said. “They have eyes and ears everywhere.”
And then there are the Americans. Guards at the U.S. border have been known to wave a car through their checkpoints for a few thousand dollars, and since 2004, there have been 138 convictions or indictments in corruption investigations involving members of the United States Customs and Border Protection. Paradoxically, one explanation for this state of affairs is the rapid expansion of border forces following the creation of the Department of Homeland Security. In their hurry to fortify the U.S.-Mexico boundary with uniformed personnel, it seems, officials may have made allowances on background checks and screenings. In some instances, job offers have been extended to the immediate relatives of known traffickers.
When corruption fails, there is always violence. During the 12 years that he worked for the cartel, Martínez claims that he did not carry a gun. But Sinaloa has risen to pre-eminence as much through savagery as through savvy. “In illegal markets, the natural tendency is toward monopoly, so they fight each other,” Antonio Mazzitelli, an official with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Mexico City, told me. “How do they fight: Go to court? Offer better prices? No. They use violence.” The primal horror of Mexico’s murder epidemic makes it difficult, perhaps even distasteful, to construe the cartel’s butchery as a rational advancement of coherent business aims. But the reality is that in a multibillion-dollar industry in which there is no recourse to legally enforceable contracts, some degree of violence may be inevitable.
“It’s like geopolitics,” Tony Placido said. “You need to use violence frequently enough that the threat is believable. But overuse it, and it’s bad for business.”
The most gratuitous practitioners of violence right now would be the Zetas, a rampaging league of sociopaths with a notable devotion to physical cruelty. The Zetas are a new kind of cartel, in that they came somewhat late to the actual business of smuggling drugs. They started out as bodyguards for the Gulf Cartel before going into business for themselves, and they specialize in messaging through bloodshed. It’s the Zetas who are charged with dumping 49 mutilated bodies by the side of a highway near Monterrey last month. Sinaloa is responsible for a great deal of carnage as well, but its approach to killing has traditionally been more discreet. Whereas a Sinaloa subsidiary allied with a Tijuana farmer known as the Stewmaker, who dissolved hundreds of bodies in barrels of lye, the Zetas have pioneered a multimedia approach to violence, touting their killings on YouTube. One strategic choice facing any cartel is deciding when to intimidate the civilian population and when to cultivate it. Sinaloa can be exceedingly brutal, but the cartel is more pragmatic than the Zetas in its deployment of violence. It may simply be, as one Obama administration official suggested, that the Sinaloa leadership is “more conscious of their brand.”
It’s a curious rivalry between these two organizations, because their business models are really very different. The Zetas have diversified beyond drugs to extortion, kidnapping and human trafficking, blossoming into what officials call a “polycriminal organization.” Sinaloa, by contrast, has mostly tended to stick to its core competence of trafficking. According to one captured cartel member, Chapo specifically instructed his subordinates not to dabble in protection rackets and insisted that Sinaloa territory remain “calm” and “controlled.”
“Sinaloa does not do extortion directly,” Eduardo Guerrero said. “It’s so risky, and the profits are so small. They want the big business — and the big business is in the United States.”
Just how active the cartel is north of the border is a divisive question. According to the Department of Justice, by 2009, Mexican-based criminal organizations were operating in “more than a thousand U.S. cities.” When you consider the huge jump in the price of narcotics between bulk importation and retail sales, it might seem that Chapo would want to expand into street-level distribution. In 2005, the D.E.A. began intercepting large shipments of cocaine in which each kilo brick was heat-sealed in a distinctive Mylar foil. They spotted the foil in Los Angeles first, then in Oklahoma, Chicago, Atlanta and New Jersey. “This was Sinaloa coke,” Michael Wardrop, who led two of the agency’s most ambitious operations against the domestic networks of the cartel, told me. As the telltale wrapping popped up across the country, Wardrop and his colleagues marveled at the sheer expanse of Sinaloa’s market. “It was like watching a virus in a Petri dish,” he said. “It was constantly growing.”
Wardrop’s investigations netted more than a thousand arrests. But some observers question the extent to which the perpetrators in these cases were actually working for the cartel. “If you’re telling me there’s a straight chain of command back to El Chapo in Sinaloa — come on, that’s absurd,” the Mexican ambassador, Arturo Sarukhán, protested. Often, the gatekeepers and logistics men that the D.E.A. arrested were indeed connected to handlers in Mexico. But this was more true of high-level importers dealing in kilos than run-of-the-mill retailers pushing grams. When The Associated Press tracked down Otis Rich, a Baltimore dealer who was ensnared in one of the operations, he answered the obvious question with a telling reply: “Sina-who?”
“The fully integrated model would indeed maximize profits,” John Bailey observes in a coming book about the cartels, but “it also maximizes risk of exposure.” A big reason for the markup at the retail level is that the sales force is so exposed — out on the corner, a magnet for undercover cops, obliged to negotiate with a needy, unpredictable clientele. When you adjust for all that added risk, the windfall starts to seem less alluring. Like a liquor wholesaler who opts not to open a bar, Chapo appears to have decided that the profits associated with retail sales just aren’t worth the hassle.
What Sinaloa does do inside this country is ferry drugs along highways to regional distribution hubs, where they are turned over to trusted wholesalers, like the Flores twins of Chicago. Pedro and Margarito Flores grew up in a Mexican-American enclave of the city during the 1990s. Their father and an older brother had moved drugs for Sinaloa, and by the time the twins were in their 20s, they had gone into business as distributors, purchasing cocaine and heroin directly from Mexican cartels, then selling to dealers throughout the United States. Chicago, home of the Mercantile Exchange, has always been a hub from which legitimate goods fan out across the country, and it’s no different for black-market commodities. Chapo has used the city as a clearinghouse since the early 1990s; he once described it as his “home port.”
In 2005, the Flores twins were flown to a mountaintop compound in Sinaloa to meet with Chapo Guzmán. The kingpin is an intimidating interlocutor; one criminal who has negotiated with him face to face told me that Chapo tends to dominate a conversation, asking a lot of questions and compensating for his short stature by bouncing on the balls of his feet. But the meeting went well, and before long, the brothers were distributing around two tons of Sinaloa product each month. As preferred customers, they often took Chapo’s drugs without putting any money down, then paid the cartel only after they sold the product. This might seem unlikely, given the pervasive distrust in the underworld, but the narcotics trade is based on a robust and surprisingly reliable system of credit. In a sense, a cartel like Sinaloa has no choice but to offer a financing option, because few wholesale buyers have the liquidity to pay cash upfront for a ton of cocaine. “They have to offer lines of credit,” Wardrop told me, “no different from Walmart or Sears.”
This credit system, known as “fronting,” rests on an ironclad assumption that in the American marketplace, even an idiot salesman should have no trouble selling drugs. One convicted Sinaloa trafficker told me that it often took him more time to count the money he collected from his customers than it did to actually move the product. It may also help that the penalty for defaulting could involve dismemberment.
As wholesale buyers, the Flores brothers occupied a crucial bottleneck between the cartel and its consumers. They grew so indispensable, in fact, that after taking delivery of a shipment of drugs, they could retroactively bargain down the price. One day in 2008, Pedro Flores telephoned Guzmán in Mexico to ask for a discount on heroin.
“What did we agree on?” Chapo asked him, according to a government transcript of the call.
They had negotiated a price of $55,000 per kilo, Flores explained. But if Chapo would consider lowering that to $50,000, the twins could pay immediately.
“That price is fine,” Chapo agreed, without argument. Then he added something significant: “Do you have a way to bring that money over here?”
For the Sinaloa cartel, pushing product north into the United States is only half the logistical equation. The drug trade is a cash business — you can’t buy kilos with your credit card. So while politicians tend to focus on cartels primarily as importers of drugs, the narcos also devote an enormous amount of energy to the export of money. Cash is collected in small denominations from individual buyers and then bundled in great stacks of broken-in bills that are used to pay wholesalers, like the Flores brothers. These bills are counted, hidden in the same vehicle compartments that were used to smuggle drugs in the opposite direction and then sent to stash houses in Los Angeles, San Diego and Phoenix. From there, they move across the border into Mexico.
What happens to the money when it gets there? The cartel employs professional money launderers who specialize in drug proceeds, and according to Robert Mazur, a former D.E.A. agent who infiltrated the Colombian cartels, the fee for fully scrubbing and banking illicit proceeds may run Sinaloa more than 15 cents on the dollar. But a great deal of the cartel’s money remains in cash. In the early 1990s, a Sinaloa accountant sent planeloads of U.S. currency to Mexico City in suitcases holding $1 million each. When Miguel Angel Martínez worked for Chapo, the kingpin would test his loyalty, adding an extra $200,000 to one of the suitcases to see if Martínez would pocket it. “Eight suitcases, compadre, so that is $8 million,” he would say. (Martínez never fell for the trick.) A sizable share of the cash is devoted to paying bribes, and some is sent to Colombia to purchase more product, because drugs offer a strong return on investment. “Where would you put your money?” the former Cisen officer Alejandro Hope asked me with a chuckle. “T-bills? Real estate? I would put a large portion of my portfolio in cocaine.”
Even so, the business generates such volumes of currency that there is only so much you can launder or reinvest, which means that money can start to pile up around the house. The most that Martínez ever saw at one time was $30 million, which just sat there, having accumulated in his living room. In 2007, Mexican authorities raided the home of Zhenli Ye Gon, a Chinese-Mexican businessman who is believed to have supplied meth-precursor chemicals to the cartel, and discovered $206 million, the largest cash seizure in history. And that was the money Zhenli held onto — he was an inveterate gambler, who once blew so much cash in Las Vegas that one of the casinos presented him, in consolation, with a Rolls-Royce. “How much money do you have to lose in the casino for them to give you a Rolls-Royce?” Tony Placido, the D.E.A. intelligence official, asked. (The astonishing answer, in Zhenli’s case, is $72 million at a single casino in a single year.) Placido also pointed out that, as a precursor guy, Zhenli was on the low end of the value chain for meth. It makes you wonder about the net worth of the guy who runs the whole show.
In 2008, the Flores twins were indicted in Chicago and began secretly cooperating with law enforcement. The following year, one of their Sinaloa contacts — a debonair young trafficker named Jesús Vicente Zambada Niebla, or Vicentillo — was arrested in Mexico and later extradited to Chicago. He will be the highest-ranking member of the cartel ever to face trial in the United States, and his favorite wholesale customers will be the star witnesses against him. In a surprise twist, Vicentillo (who is the son of Chapo’s partner, Mayo Zambada) has argued that he can’t be prosecuted — because even as he worked for Sinaloa, he was also a secret informant for the D.E.A.
There has been speculation in Mexico that the Calderón regime favors Sinaloa over the unhinged Zetas and has made a devil’s pact to lay off the cartel. It might be impossible to eradicate all the cartels in Mexico, this theory goes, so the government has picked a favorite in the conflict in the hope that when the smoke clears, a Sinaloa monopoly might usher in a sort of pax narcotica. A 2010 National Public Radio investigation of Mexican arrest statistics found that Sinaloa had suffered conspicuously fewer arrests than had its peers, though this could simply be evidence of triage on the government’s part rather than proof of a conspiracy. Calderón vehemently denies any charges of favoritism, and his administration has arrested or killed several of Chapo’s key deputies in the last few years. (My repeated requests for interviews with relevant officials in Mexico were denied.)
The suggestion that the D.E.A. might have made a deal with a high-ranking Sinaloa figure is new, however. In the past, Chapo has occasionally authorized employees to provide information to American law enforcement. Fierro Méndez, the Juárez cop, described a system in which junior traffickers would walk into U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and announce their willingness to become informers — then feed the Americans intelligence about rival cartels, thereby using law enforcement to eliminate their competitors. U.S. officials allow that there were discussions between the D.E.A. and Vicentillo, but they deny that any quid pro quo was in place.
The trial, which is scheduled for October, should shed significant light on Sinaloa’s logistical apparatus — provided the witnesses can stay alive until then. Recently, a career criminal named Saul Rodriguez testified that Vicentillo solicited his help at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in downtown Chicago, where they were both being held, in an effort to have the Flores twins assassinated. Authorities have expressed concern that the cartel might undertake a daring jailbreak to get Vicentillo out. They have also voiced the opposite worry — that Vicentillo will himself be killed. A request by the trafficker’s attorneys that he be permitted to exercise outdoors raised concerns from prison officials, because the only open space at the prison is a fenced-in recreation area on top of the building, where Vicentillo could be picked off by a sniper. (He has since been moved to a more secure facility.)
It might seem far-fetched that the cartel would try to assassinate one of its own, the son of Mayo Zambada, no less. But Sinaloa guards its secrets ruthlessly. After Chapo’s friend Miguel Angel Martínez was arrested in 1998, four men came to kill him in prison, stabbing him repeatedly. In that assault, and another that followed, he sustained more than a dozen stab wounds, which punctured his lungs, pancreas and intestines. After the second attack, he was moved to another facility and kept in a segregated unit. This time, an assassin managed to get as far as the gate outside Martínez’s cell and chucked two grenades at the bars. Locked in with nowhere to run, Martínez could only cower by the toilet to shield himself from the blast. The roof caved in, and he barely survived. Asked later who it was that tried to have him killed, Martínez said that it was his compadre, Chapo Guzmán. “Because of what I knew,” he explained. (Today he is living in witness protection in the United States.)
Between the coming trial and the increased political drumbeat on both sides of the border for his capture, Chapo may be more embattled today than at any time in his career. In February, he escaped a raid by Mexican authorities in the resort area of Los Cabos. President Calderón’s party is trailing in the polls, and some have theorized that the only way it might manage to retain power after next month’s presidential election would be if Chapo is killed or captured. U.S. authorities, meanwhile, are uncertain about who might succeed Calderón — Vice President Joe Biden met with all of the leading candidates on a visit to Mexico in March — and whether that successor will have any appetite to continue battling the cartels. With so many dead and so little progress, the Mexican populace has grown war-weary. Several U.S. officials told me that the critical window for capturing Chapo is between now and when Calderón leaves office.
In addition to the threat of capture, there is the threat of competition. By some estimates, the Zetas now control more Mexican territory than Chapo does, even if they don’t move nearly as many drugs. Zeta gunmen have made bloody incursions on Chapo’s turf, going so far as to penetrate the previously inviolable stronghold of his own home state, Sinaloa. In 2008, Chapo’s lover, Zulema Hernández, was discovered dead in the trunk of a car, her body carved with the letter “Z.” “It’s like the evolution of the dinosaurs, and the coming of the T. Rex,” Antonio Mazzitelli told me. “The T. Rex is the Zetas.”
Chapo and his colleagues were never peaceful types; in the last few years, they have waged vicious wars of acquisition to seize the lucrative smuggling routes through Juárez and Tijuana. But to fend off the Zetas, Sinaloa is resorting to new levels of barbarism. In March, the cartel dumped a collection of dismembered bodies in Zeta territory and posted a series of open letters on the walls around them, deriding the Zetas as “a bunch of drunks and car-washers.” Each message was signed, “Sincerely, El Chapo.”
One thing Chapo has always done is innovate. Even as he engages in violent brinkmanship along the border, the cartel is expanding to new markets in Europe, where a kilo of cocaine can sell for three times what it does in the U.S., and in Australia, where authorities believe that Chapo is now a major cocaine supplier. There are also indications that the cartel is exploring opportunities in Southeast Asia, China and Japan — places Chapo and Martínez first visited as younger men. And Chapo’s great comparative advantage still lies along that fraught boundary between Mexico and the United States. Even if the kingpin is killed or captured, one of his associates will quite likely take his place, and the smuggling infrastructure that Chapo created will endure, channeling the product, reaping the profits and feeding, with barely a blip in service, the enduring demand on this side of the border — what the historian Héctor Aguilar Camín once referred to as “the insatiable North American nose.”
Patrick Radden Keefe is a staff writer for The New Yorker and a fellow at the Century Foundation. From 2010 to 2011, he was a policy adviser in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
Editor: Greg Veis


It’s been a big week for reporting on Mexican drug cartels in The New York Times, where reporters on two stories kept themselves safe by replacing direct danger with lots of hard work.

On Tuesday, Ginger Thompson broke the story of Zetas cartel leaders allegedly laundering money through a massive U.S.-based horse-racing operation. Then on Friday, a lengthy Times Magazine feature by Patrick Radden Keefe went live, exploring the structure, business, and leadership of the Sinaloa cartel, which dominates the drug trade along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Keefe, author of Snakehead, told The Atlantic Wire on Friday that he’d started reporting his piece in January, using U.S. court documents and trial transcripts to track down three people involved with the Sinaloa cartel, who would speak as sources: A pilot, a drug manufacturer, and a mid-level trafficker. “In a bunch of these cases the people were either doing prison time or had gotten out of prison, so I started tracking people down. A lot of them don’t want to talk. It’s kind of a low-yield form of reporting.”
But through it, Keefe has put together a fascinating profile of an organization that rivals in scale the corporate giants of our time: “By most estimates, Sinaloa has achieved a market share of at least 40 percent and perhaps as much as 60 percent, which means that Chapo Guzmán’s organization would appear to enjoy annual revenues of some $3 billion — comparable in terms of earnings to Netflix or, for that matter, to Facebook.” And we meet the Sinaloas’ infamous leader, Chapo, who sounds like a cross between CEO and Bond villain: “From the remote mountain redoubt where he is believed to be hiding, surrounded at all times by a battery of gunmen, Chapo oversees a logistical network that is as sophisticated, in some ways, as that of Amazon or U.P.S.”
Keefe opted not to go to Sinaloa itself, the seat of the cartel’s massive operation. He knew he wasn’t going to meet Chapo, so what would he achieve? “There was a cost-benefit analysis. Looking at the reporting from people who have gone to Sinaloa, generally what people come back with — and this is gringo reporters who go up there and ask around — they come back with color. You can describe Culiacon, the capital there … And you might get some guy sitting in front of a restaurant saying ‘we do not speak of the Choppo.’ ” But you’re not going to get an interview with the man himself. “I decided against that for a number of reasons, primarily that a lot of journalists have been killed in mexico, most of them Mexican journalists.” On Thursday, reporter Baez Chino was found dead in Veracruz  the country’s 81st journalist killed since 2000.
So Keefe opted for a week in Mexico City, speaking with academics who follow the drug trade, and lots of time leafing through court documents. Eventually, he found a record of a 2006 trial in Arizona, at which Chapo’s right-hand man, Miguel Angel Martínez, had testified. He tracked down the court reporter, who sent him a copy of the transcript. Amazingly, it had been untouched by reporters. “People have been writing about Chapo for years and years and they’ve poured over his biography,” Keefe said. But here was a document that had never made it into the hands of a journalist or biographer. It included revelations such as Chapo’s own use of cocaine, and what Keefe called “trival details,” like the fact that he had his own private zoo in Guadalajara that contained tigers and bears. “It was gobsmacking for me to get my hands on this transcript, which has been out in the world and available if you’d found it, since 2006. And to realize nobody had found it.”
Thompson, meanwhile, was reporting a much more sensitive story. As she explains in her report, she found out about the Zetas cartel’s alleged involvement in U.S. horse racing in December 2011, and in the course of her reporting discovered that the U.S. Department of Justice was also investigating Zetas leader Miguel Ángel Treviño and his ranch-owning brother, José Treviño, which led to arrests this week. “The Times learned of the government’s investigation last month and agreed to hold back this article until Tuesday morning’s arrests,” she wrote. But she worked on the story for a lot longer than a month, so how did she keep herself and her sources safe? She hid behind her own reporting, she told PRI’s The World:
“I was never threatened. I think a lot of the reason for that is that I didn’t make it known that I was looking specifically at Jose Trevino. I did a lot of reporting that made it appear I was looking at something other than him directly. It was complicated and it took us a lot longer to finish this story because of that. But, yes, we thought about safety at every turn and not just for my safety but really for the safety of the people who spoke to me which is why so many people in my story are unidentified. It was mostly for the sake of their safety.”
Thanks to the two reports’ legwork, we know a lot more about the cartel situation on both sides of the border on Friday than we did on Monday.

Source-Atlantic Wire


Mexican Drug Cartels

Police arrested 52 suspected employees of the notoriously violent Los Zetas drug cartel in the northern Mexican state of Nuevo Leon, officials said Wednesday.

The detainees include two municipal police officers and two ex-cops, state Attorney General Adrian de la Garza told a press conference here.

He said those four individuals are believed to be the leaders of a Zetas cell.

The 39 men, eight women and five minors were arrested over a four-day period in the towns of Linares, Allende, Galeana, Iturbide and Montemorelos.

The five underage suspects are accused of acting as lookouts to alert the Zetas to movements of the security forces, the attorney general said.

Police seized assault rifles and torture devices during the raids, state government security spokesman Jorge Domene said.

Nuevo Leon, which borders Texas, and other states in northern Mexico, have been battered in recent years as the upstart Zetas battle the more-established drug cartels for control of territory and smuggling routes.

To earn extra cash, some cartel “sicarios” (hit men) engage in kidnapping, extortion and armed robbery.

Conflict among rival cartels and between criminals and the Mexican security forces have claimed more than 50,000 lives since December 2006, when newly inaugurated President Felipe Calderon militarized the struggle against organized crime.